Kitchener Rangers fans will be allowed to have beer in their seats during the upcoming season.

The City of Kitchener announced Tuesday that alcohol would be available arena-wide as part of a one-year pilot project.

“It’s something that fans have been asking us to consider for a number of years,” Rangers chief operating officer Steve Bienkowski tells CTV News.

“We want to make sure everybody enjoys the game – it’s not just about people who don’t want to have a drink in their seat or people who do want to have a drink in their seat.”

During the 2012-13 OHL season, beer was permitted in the newly installed upper-level seats.

Paul Pickard, manager of The Aud, says previous experience got the city thinking hockey fans might even be better off if they could drink beer while in their seats.

“We’re finding that there was a lot of heavy drinking going on – people trying to drink a lot of alcohol during the intermission,” he says.

“We feel this way will be much safer.”

The pilot program will begin Sept. 1, and feedback gathered during the season will guide a decision on whether to continue with it.

Five extra security guards will be hired for the season as a precaution against potential incidents.

Rangers officials say they’re either the last OHL team or one of the last in the league to offer in-seat beer sales.