Whether your business is the place to be for the ball game or the next tee, sporting venues and golf courses bring communities together. However, when your venue also serves alcohol, there are few factors that you’ll have to consider. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates the sale of alcohol throughout the state of Texas, and it’s essential to have the proper licensing at your business.

Sporting venues and golf courses who offer the sale of alcohol for on-premise consumption

Ranger Licensing offers expert help in navigating the licensing process and can help ensure that your business stays in compliance with all local, state, and federal guidelines.

How Ranger Licensing Can Help

Ranger Licensing is based out of Houston and is proud to serve the entire great state of Texas. With years of experience across the alcoholic beverage industry, they are always informed and insightful about all changes and updates to Texas and federal alcohol laws. Ranger Licensing has worked closely with all types of businesses who serve alcohol, meaning they have the specialized knowledge and experience to help your sporting venue or golf courses succeed.

Offering a broad spectrum of help, covering everything from the initial license application all the way through to compliance and license renewals, Ranger Licensing is happy to work with you.

Types of Licenses and Permits Required

Depending on the type of venue you operate, your clientele, and what type of alcohol you serve, there are a few possible permits that you may need. Below we outline the most likely permits and licenses to be required by sporting venues and golf courses:

  • Mixed Beverage Permit (MB): If you wish to sell more than one type of alcoholic beverage then this is likely the right permit. It is necessary for venues wanting to serve spirits, beer, and wine.
  • Beer Retailer’s On-Premise License (BE): For venues that plan to serve only beer on their premises.
  • Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit (BG): Allows for the sale of beer and wine for on-premise consumption in golf courses and sporting venues.

Businesses That Need This Service

While you may wonder if your business falls under TABC regulations, if you sell or serve alcohol in any form then you likely do. Each business type may have specific licenses or permits related to their alcohol service and events. Below, we breakdown some specific business types that need licensing services:

  1. Public and Private Golf Courses:
    • Both public-access and members-only golf courses  which offer alcohol service at clubhouses, on-course mobile services, or at special events.
  2. Stadiums and Arenas:
    • Large sporting venues that host professional or collegiate sports events, concerts, and other large gatherings, require comprehensive alcohol licensing for various concessions and VIP areas. Because of a broad-ranging clientele, of all ages, these venues may also have additional compliance aspects to keep in mind.
  3. Sports Bars within Sporting Venues:
    • Dedicated bars or lounge areas within larger sporting complexes, who provide food or alcoholic beverages to spectators before, during, and after sports events.
  4. Race Tracks:
    • Horse racing, motor racing, and other types of race tracks where spectators gather and alcohol is served during events.
  5. Bowling Alleys:
    • Bowling centers that offer alcohol service to enhance the recreational experience of their patrons.
  6. Recreational Sports Facilities:
    • Facilities which host amateur sports leagues, tournaments, and recreational activities, and where alcohol is served in a social, post-game setting.
  7. Tennis and Racquet Clubs:
    • Clubs that feature tennis, squash, or other racquet sports, often featuring a clubhouse that serves alcoholic beverages.
  8. Country Clubs:
    • Exclusive clubs with a variety of recreational facilities, including golf courses, where alcohol service is a key part of the member experience.
  9. Outdoor Sports and Adventure Parks:
    • Venues offering activities like zip-lining, rock climbing, or hiking, which may also include areas for dining and alcohol service.
  10. Indoor Sports and Entertainment Complexes:
    • Large indoor facilities hosting various sports and entertainment events, with bars or concession stands serving alcohol.

Compliance and Regulation Management

Complying with TABC, local, and federal regulations is one of the most essential aspects that your business must do. Failure to be properly licensed and to comply with all regulations and restrictions can result in fines, revocation of your license, and even, in some cases, jail time.

Ranger Licensing can offer you guidance on the unique regulations that apply to your specific business. They will keep you up-to-date on all changing guidelines at the local, state, and federal level to ensure that you are always on top of compliance. They can also help you navigate the complexities of serving practices and ensuring the responsible alcohol consumption of your patrons.

Managing Alcohol Sales During Events

Whether you are holding occasional events or they are a mainstay of your business, there are some important challenges to understand about selling alcohol.

Some challenges include: understanding all compliance guidelines for an event, this may include aspects such as proper signage and training of your staff; managing your inventory so that you neither sell out early nor have a surplus of extra inventory at the end of the event; complying with any additional local laws that may govern the event.

Additionally, if you do not typically hold events, you will likely need to obtain a temporary permit for the event. Talk with Ranger Licensing about which permit type is best for your business and plan ahead, as permits can take awhile to be approved.

Tailoring Alcohol Offerings to Audience

Depending on your clientele and the type of events that you offer, it’s important to tailor your alcohol offerings to fit your audience’s tastes. If you have ongoing events, this can be as simple as using an inventory tracking system to see which types of beverages tend to sell well during events. If your events are more occasional, it may be worth surveying customers or looking into the average alcohol sales in your area.

Remember, if you plan on selling or serving more than one type of alcohol, you will need a permit that covers mixed beverages. Additionally, there may be extra restrictions placed on imported alcohol. Ranger Licensing is happy to help you figure out any complexities specific to what you wish to serve.

Sporting Venues and Golf Courses TABC Liquor License and Permit FAQs

  1. What Licensing Considerations are Unique to Golf Courses Selling Alcohol?
    • For golf courses selling alcohol, the licensing considerations include obtaining a Mixed Beverage Permit (MB) if you wish to serve a full range of alcoholic beverages, including spirits, or a Beer and Wine Retailer’s Permit (BG) for limited offerings. The unique layout of golf courses, often spanning large outdoor areas, requires special attention to where alcohol can be legally consumed. For example, golf courses may need to define specific areas like the clubhouse or designated outdoor spaces where alcohol consumption is permitted. Additionally, considering the customer base, which may include corporate events, tournaments, and casual players, the types of alcohol and service methods (like mobile beverage carts) should comply with TABC regulations and the specific permit stipulations.
  2. How Do Alcohol Licensing Requirements Vary for Different Types of Sporting Events?
    • The licensing requirements for alcohol sales at sporting events vary depending on the nature and scale of the event. Larger venues like stadiums and arenas hosting professional sports events may require more comprehensive permits, like the Mixed Beverage Permit, due to the volume and variety of alcohol sales. For smaller, community-based sporting events, a simpler permit like the Beer Retailer’s On-Premise License (BE) might be sufficient. Temporary permits or special event licenses are often necessary for one-time events or tournaments. The type of sporting event also influences licensing needs; for instance, events with a family-oriented audience may have different requirements compared to events primarily attended by adult fans.
  3. What Are Best Practices for Responsible Alcohol Sales in Sporting Venues?
    • Ensuring responsible alcohol sales in sporting venues involves several best practices. Staff training in responsible service, including checking IDs and recognizing signs of intoxication, is crucial. Implementing policies like a maximum number of drinks per purchase or ceasing alcohol sales after a certain point in the event can help manage consumption levels. Clear signage about alcohol policies and available non-alcoholic options can also promote responsible drinking. Additionally, coordinating with security personnel to monitor and address any alcohol-related issues promptly is important. For venues where families and children are present, creating alcohol-free zones can be an effective strategy. These practices help create a safe and enjoyable environment for all attendees.

Whether your business is just starting, or you need help navigating renewing a license for a more seasoned business, Ranger Licensing can support you in all of your professional licensing and compliance needs. With their help, your golf course or sporting venue’s ability to sell alcohol will be an easy touchdown.

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call (713) 881-9009.