John Ward-Leighton also pointed out on his blog the role that the liquor lobby placed in turned an entire area around the arena into a branded "Entertainment Zone" larded with bars and free-flowing liquor.Why does this matter in Brooklyn? Because the Atlantic Yards arena will be located very, very close to some residential neighborhoods--far closer than the 200-foot cordon required by the city, as zoning is overridden by the state.
“It was clear that a lot of of the participants in last nights riot and looting were at the very least impaired and looking for trouble," said Ward-Leighton. "This "zone" has nothing to do with entertainment and much to do with the almost criminal profit taking of the proprietors of the establishments who far from "serving it right" pour drunken idiots into the streets nightly to brawl and drive drunk....The fault for last nights idiocy was not about losing a hockey game or the police response, the bomb had its fuse lit with the myth that the only way you can have fun is to get stinking drunk.”
That means policy issues--like the timing of last call at the arena, open hours of establishments serving liquor, and policing--are all worthy of discussion.
And maybe, as suggested last night, a state subsidiary overseeing the arena, is necessary.