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May 4, 2013 2:51 AM by Nathan O'Neal

State approves liquor license for Maracana Indoor Sports Arena

TUCSON - The State Liquor Board approved a license that will allow the Maracana Indoor Sports Arena to serve beer and wine despite the city council's previous recommendation to deny it because of some public protest.

Neighbors living in the Armory Park area were critical of the problems that serving alcohol could bring, including potentially attracting a heavier flow of traffic and people.

"When people are drinking they do things that they wouldn't normally do when they're not drinking," said Valerina Quintana, who lives across the street from Maracana.

Despite living in a neighborhood already plagued by nuisance noise, Quintana is fearful of additional noise.

"We have a lot of noise already with the train going by and that's one change that I would not be excited about," Quintana said, speaking about serving alcohol nearby.

However, Thomas Aguilera, the attorney representing Maracana's interests said the move would help attract business for the indoor sports arena that hosts soccer leagues for children and adults.

"They want to go and play soccer. They want to have a couple of beers after the game with their friends. This is that type of business, they expect it," said Aguilera.

Convinced that the move would not attract any more foot traffic than it already does, Aguilera said the extra noise is a result of unfortunate zoning of the properties.

"One of the things that everybody inherited here is frankly poor zoning and frankly that's not my client's fault. It's not the neighbors fault," Aguilera said.

It could be several weeks before the liquor license is processed and even longer before beer is actually served at the facility.

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