Sunday booze pushed
Officials try again for sales at stadium

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County officials made a second pitch Wednesday to get legislators to change Georgia law to allow Sunday sales of alcohol at the Gwinnett Braves stadium, which is expected to open in April.

While local officials simply want to add two words to a Georgia code that allows the sale at city stadiums or arenas, extending the privilege to counties, the idea got embroiled last year in a debate over allowing package sales on Sundays.

Lawmakers were able to pass a measure that would give the county an avenue to get a Sunday liquor license for the stadium, but lobbyist Jet Toney said the process would be "tortuous."

Instead, he asked for lawmakers to push for the simple solution during the upcoming General Assembly session.

But the idea could get mired in the package sales issue again, as Sen. Seth Harp announced Wednesday he would push for Sunday sales at stores, arguing the revenues could help during the hard economic times.

Richard Tucker, the chairman of the convention and visitors bureau board that oversees the stadium, who owns a liquor store, said he was unaware there was an issue with last year's solution.

Gwinnett Braves General Manager Bruce Baldwin also said he thought the situation had been rectified.

During Wednesday's session with legislators, Gwinnett officials also asked for transportation funding, including the passage of a regional sales tax to fund road projects, the use of electronic signatures for engineers and architects to submit electronic plans and for funding to create a statewide trauma network.