Arizona is hoping to sell beer and wine at McKale Center this season, athletic director Dave Heeke said Wednesday.
Heeke told radio station 1580 The Fanatic in Phoenix that the UA is applying for a license with the city of Tucson for McKale during the 2017-18 season, and later confirmed it via a statement from the school. The license is listed as pending.
Heeke said the UA is also considering offering alcohol at Arizona Stadium for football games, though there is no current plan to do so. Arizona also sells alcohol at city-owned and off-campus Hi Corbett Field for baseball games under a license held by the city of Tucson.
"The decision to make alcohol available to our guests is more about enhancing the fan experience than it is about generating additional revenue, which may be minimal," Heeke said in his statement. "Our fans have continually provided us with feedback, asking that we make beer and wine available at McKale.
"After doing our own research and evaluation and after deliberative discussions, we decided to move forward with the liquor license application process."
Heeke said the UA already holds six liquor licenses, including one for limited service in private areas of Arizona Stadium. He said the beer and wine would be sold by a third-party company that will be regulated by the state of Arizona.
Heeke said the UA would be posting public notices of its application at McKale Center and, if approved, said the school would serve beer and wine at an undetermined date this season.
“We want to kind of see what we can do, we want to do it the right way, so we’ll likely have that at some point during this season," Heeke said on his radio interview.
“We want better food service, better opportunities for food and drink across the entire board. We want to have new environments for people to retreat to and enjoy the game, more than just sitting on that hard, abrasive bench at the 50-yard line and just watching the game. There’s more to the experience now, and we want to try to grow that."
Arizona is expected to have two of its three committed players attend Friday's Red-Blue Game, and at least a few in the younger classes.
Chris Wright, father of UA commit Brandon Williams, confirmed today that his son is planning to attend the game (and Williams confirmed it himself on Twitter). Shareef O'Neal has also said on Twitter that he will be visiting this weekend.
Official visit this week ! See you soon Tucson 🐻⬇️❤️— Shareef O'Neal (@SSJreef) October 17, 2017
Meanwhile, West Coast Elite director Ryan Silver said the scrimmage will also be attended by three of his club's players — 2019 guard Josh Green, 2020 guard Nico Mannion and 2020 football/basketball prospect Jason Harris. Silver's associate director, Justin Downer, posted the visits on Twitter and Mannion retweeted it.
Harris is the younger brother of UA football defensive end Jalen Harris, and azcentral's No. 2 rated player in the class of 2020.
Allonzo Trier (Jerry West shooting guard) and Rawle Alkins (Julius Erving small forward) have been named to the watch lists of the Basketball Hall of Fame's college position awards. The Karl Malone power forward and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watch lists have yet to be announced but it will be a surprise if Deandre Ayton isn't on one of them.
The watch lists ultimately have no bearing on who ultimately wins the awards, since players can make or be dropped from the lists as the season goes on.