Oversight bans alcohol at Panther tailgating

ALBANY, Ga. -- Plan on sipping on a cold one while you tailgate for Sunday's Albany Panther indoor football game? Think again.

The failure of the Albany City Commission to renew a 2005 ordinance that exempted tailgaters at the Civic Center from open-container regulations for that season of the South Georgia Wildcats means that, technically, those who wish to grill out before Panther's games must leave the booze at home, city officials say.

The oversight was discovered Friday, too late for city officials to rectify the situation before Sunday's game.

"We have discovered a prior ordinance which exempted the open container regulations on Civic Center property had elapsed and we are planning to try and rectify it," Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said.

The commission has a meeting Tuesday, but Smith said it was unlikely the board would take up the issue that soon, though he said city staff had begun reviewing the ordinance to determine any possible fixes.

"Tailgating is perfectly fine, but we do have an active open-container ordinance in place," Smith said.

On Friday, Smith met with John Proctor, chief of the Albany Police Department, and officials with the City Attorney's Office to discuss the ordinance.