Alcohol being illegally sold outside SF Oracle Park despite enforcement, I-Team uncovers

Melanie Woodrow Image
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Alcohol being sold illegally outside Oracle Park despite enforcement
There's a growing concern near San Francisco's Oracle Park as authorities say they're cracking down on the illegal sale of alcohol on the streets.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's a weekend full of home games for the San Francisco Giants. Meantime, there's a growing concern outside Oracle Park as authorities say they're cracking down on the illegal sale of alcohol outside the stadium. Despite their efforts including an operation held earlier this month, ABC7 News I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow discovered the booze is flowing.

The perimeter of Oracle Park is buzzing with happy fans during any San Francisco Giants home game, but authorities are frowning on the illegal sale of alcohol outside the stadium.

"Ice cold beer, bottled water, save some money," shouted one seller.

Earlier this month, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control held an operation outside Oracle Park. Four citations were issued and illegally sold alcohol was seized including from one individual operating an unlicensed bar.

"This must be infuriating for all the local businesses that play by the rules and go for licenses," said District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey.

Dorsey says the city is seeing way too much of this in ways that are overwhelming their ability to respond.

Despite the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control's efforts in conjunction with the San Francisco Police Department and the Port of San Francisco, the I-Team saw several people illegally selling alcohol outside Thursday night's home game.

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"Ice cold beer, Modelo, White Claw," called out another seller.

Including one person with a margarita making bar complete with multiple types of tequila, mixers and fruit garnishes.

"Taking their profits, thumbing their nose at the laws and the rules," said Dorsey.

"I got Modelo, I got Coors Light, I got paper bags - you can sneak them in," yelled a seller.

That seller who did not want to speak with ABC7 News on camera said a ticket he received last year was dismissed and that it's a slap on the wrist.

"Does San Francisco have the resources to be out there enforcing something like this when there's so much else happening in the city?" asked I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow.

"Right now, close to a third of the police department we're supposed to have isn't there, there's hundreds of officers who are eligible for retirement," said Dorsey.

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An SFPD spokesperson tells the I-Team, operations are dictated by available staffing and that the department is focused on hiring qualified candidates to make up a shortage of more than 500 officers.

Writing in an emailed statement in part, "Despite the staffing shortage we prioritize public safety issues to ensure safe gatherings in and around these venues."

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control tells ABC7 News by email, "These illegal sales pose a potential public safety concern and potentially take away business from California licensees who are operating according to the law."

The alcohol being sold illegally isn't regulated and the vendors aren't carding.

"We want to make sure that people who are in the business of selling alcohol are doing it responsibly," said Dorsey.

"Five-dollar beers, $17 inside," yelled a seller.

In an emailed statement, a San Francisco Giants spokesperson writes, "We have been working with SFPD and other agencies to combat this problem. Fan safety is paramount to us and we appreciate the work of local authorities to minimize activities that compromise fan safety, detract from the ballpark experience and negatively impact the neighborhood we share with residents and local businesses."

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"Is this like Whac-A-Mole, you give a citation and they just pop back up?" asked Woodrow.

"We've got to be persistent because criminal enterprises are very persistent," said Dorsey.

"It's just completely unfair and we've got to shut it down," he continued.

Supervisor Dorsey says next Tuesday he's going to be calling for a hearing on this issue before the public safety committee.

Eric Young, Port of San Francisco's communications director, released the following statement:

The Port of San Francisco collaborates with various law enforcement agencies to address illegal alcohol sales on Port property. Examples include working with state ABC officers during their enforcement activities, coordinating with SFPD officers on "buy-bust" enforcement, and supporting the District Attorney to bring charges against illegal alcohol vendors. Additionally, Port security staff have on occasion confiscated alcohol from unlicensed food vendors during regular enforcement activity.

Here's data since August 2023 regarding alcohol violations on Port property:
  • Alcohol sales violations: 34

  • SFPD arrests: 22

  • ABC arrests: 14
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