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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Beer to be served at Pro Football Hall of Fame game and enshrinement ceremony for first time

CANTON, Ohio - Beer will be served to the public for the first time at the Pro Football Hall of Fame's annual enshrinement festival this year to boost revenue and enhance the ceremony and preseason game.

The ceremony honouring the class of 2014 takes place Aug. 2, followed by a preseason game between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills the following day.

"Done responsibly, alcohol has been part of (pro) sporting events forever," said Joe Horrigan, communications and exhibits vice-president for the Canton facility.

The beer will be sold by the can but served in plastic cups, Dave Motts, the hall's senior vice-president of corporate and community engagement, told The Repository (http://bit.ly/Uf6GLP ) for a story Thursday.

Motts said fans in the past have been surprised beer wasn't available, since it's staple of many pro sporting events. He called it a trial run, with temporary tents for sales as well as "hawkers." No wine or liquor will be available. Officials will cut off sales before the conclusion of both events.

In the past, alcohol was available in private suites behind the stadium scoreboard, Motts said. Beer is also sold in public areas along the midway outside the hall. Beer and wine have also been made available in the press box if requested by an NFL team owner, Motts said.

Canton City Schools, which owns Fawcett Stadium, granted permission for the sales as part of its long relationship with the Hall of Fame.

Ohio High School Athletic Association rules prohibit alcohol and tobacco products at sporting contests held by member schools, but the regulations don't apply to venues when non-high school events are involved, said OHSAA spokesman Tim Stried.

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Information from: The Repository, http://www.cantonrep.com

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