Beer and wine may soon be available to fans during Wildcat basketball games at the UA’s McKale Center.

The Tucson City Council on Tuesday night gave its blessing 5-1 to a new liquor license for the arena on the University of Arizona campus, clearing one of the last bureaucratic hurdles so that alcohol can be sold during basketball games. Councilwoman Regina Romero cast the lone “no” vote, while Councilman Steve Kozachik did not vote on the license because he works for the university.

Approval from the City Council came after some discussion and some light horse-trading, with city officials securing pledges that the sale of alcohol would be voluntarily stopped after the first television time out during the second half of a game.

While the council signed off on the new liquor license, it still needs to be approved by the Arizona State Liquor Board.

University officials said they hope to start selling alcohol early next year after getting final approval from the state liquor board. While no date for the liquor board approval has been set, officials expect the item to go before the board in a few weeks. It is unclear whether the holidays may further delay when it gets on the agenda.

The university already sells alcohol at city-owned and off-campus Hi Corbett Field for baseball games as well as at hockey games at the Tucson Convention Center.

University officials have stated they are looking to sell beer and wine at sporting events due to numerous requests from fans. They are not, however, considering selling alcohol at football games at this time.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson.

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