Kitchener mayor, bar owners eye extended alcohol sales for World Cup
With the FIFA World Cup set to begin in a matter of days, some bar owners and politicians are pushing for extended alcohol sales to coincide with the matches.
Currently, the province allows liquor to be served as early as 9 a.m. and as late as 2 a.m., but with the World Cup being held in Qatar, some games will start as early as 8 a.m. EST.
“World Cup, Euro Cup anything soccer related – football, sorry - is always a big generator for us,” said Craig McNair, a server at the Duke of Wellington in Waterloo.
The Duke of Wellington will be opening at 8 a.m. Monday, three hours earlier than normal, as World Cup games involving popular teams like the USA, England and the Netherlands get underway.
But that’s still an hour before bars can legally serve liquor.
The uptown Waterloo bar is hoping for an additional hour of alcohol service.
“We’re allowed to serve alcohol at 9 a.m., and we’re hoping provincially they will change that for the World Cup,” said McNair.
A spokesperson with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) said: “licensed establishments that wish to apply for a temporary extension of hours must provide documentation and local municipal approvals.”
CTV News reached out to the City of Waterloo to see if a request was made to extend liquor service hours but did not receive a response.
Berry Vrbanovic, Kitchener’s mayor, tweeted that he has reached out to the AGCO to extend hours for licensed establishments during the tournament so “we can all cheer for our favourite teams including soccer Canada."
He said he hopes to see this change made throughout the province.
John Tory, Mayor of Toronto said: “We always had intended to do something about the morning hours, and the decision that is being recommended to council by me will be to do it at 8 o'clock in the morning.”