- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu officials are granting the National Football League a one-time exception to serve alcohol at Queen’s Beach for the league’s upcoming Pro Bowl Beach event.

Michele Nekota, director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, said in a release that the department is allowing the NFL to serve alcohol for its event at a cordoned-off section of the beach on Friday and Saturday, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1JKXyaX).

It was still unclear Thursday if the NFL had been granted a permit from the Liquor Commission, which Nekota said was required. Liquor Commission Administrator Franklin Don Pacarro could not immediately be reached for comment.

However, Pacarro said last week that the NFL had submitted a request through the Hawaii Beach Volleyball Association for a one-event liquor license for the Pro Bowl Beach event. Approval could be made administratively and without review from the commission, he said, because the request was made by the nonprofit.

Nekota said she has rejected another request from the NFL and other beach event organizers calling for a proposed rule change that would allow alcohol to be served at private events annually at the Waikiki beach.

Opponents of the proposal said alcohol being served in a private section of a public beach would conflict with a city ordinance prohibiting alcoholic consumption at parks and beaches.

“DPR considered and found valid comments on both sides,” Nekota said. “After reviewing all the testimony, DPR has decided not to go forward with the rules as drafted at this time.”

However, Nekota did note that city laws allow for exceptions, such as the one requested by the NFL for the Pro Bowl Beach event.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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