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Boozing on a Sunday morning? Tampa City Council poised to change Sunday liquor sales

The change would accomodate the Super Bowl, but will be permanent

TAMPA — Super Bowl LV is coming to town and its legacy will involve charitable projects, youth enrichment and plenty of money in pockets of vendors and cash registers of local businesses.

It’ll also likely means you’ll be able to buy liquor at sunrise on Sundays next month.

The City Council advanced a change to the city’s liquor ordinance Thursday to accommodate the Super Bowl festivities in January and early February, but the new 7 a.m. Sunday start time will be permanent.

City Attorney Gina Grimes said the city’s special events office has long received lots of requests for Sunday liquor sales for various festivals, races and other events. This would benefit them as well, she said. The mayor’s office presented the ordinance to council members, indicating Mayor Jane Castor’s support.

Currently, Tampa International Airport allows 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Sunday liquor sales. The city, Grimes told council members, wants to extend that to the rest of the state’s third-largest municipality.

The 5-1 vote set the stage for a final decision on Dec. 3. The mayor will sign it if approved and it will go into effect immediately, said Castor’s spokeswoman Ashley Bauman.

Council member Bill Carlson was the lone vote against the change. He didn’t return a phone call for comment Friday.

Council member John Dingfelder was absent for the vote.

The vote came amid a presentation by the Tampa Sports Authority and NFL officials detailing preparations for the Super Bowl.

But unlike other temporary measures, like a special security zone covering areas around the pre-game festivities along the Riverwalk and Raymond James stadium, the liquor rule will stand long after the final whistle blows on Feb. 7.

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