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No beer may mean no pro football in Malden

Plans to bring a spring league pro football team to Malden may be sidelined after city councilors Tuesday called for the city Licensing Board to reject a request to serve beer at Macdonald Stadium.

City Councilor Steven Ultrino, who represents residents in Ward 2, which includes the stadium, introduced a resolution urging the Licensing Board to deny a petition to serve beer during games played by the Boston Freedom Fighters of the start-up National Spring Football League. The resolution was approved by a vote of 9-1.

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The resolution said serving beer at games would be detrimental to the neighborhood.

“I support the football team playing there,” Ultrino said. “I oppose alcohol and I’d like to have the community involved before making any decisions.”

A statement from the team chided the council for taking such a measure without meeting first with team officials, and said it planned to look at other communities for its home field.

“It came as a surprise to the league representatives, after such good-faith efforts less than one week ago, that the city councilor, Steven Ultrino, would take steps to jeopardize the results of the hard work by the city and the league,” the statement said.

The council’s resolution is not binding, but will be considered by the Licensing Board.

The city’s stadium commission last week unanimously approved a lease with the Freedom Fighters that allowed limited beer sales at games. The agreement was supported by Mayor Gary Christenson.

A community meeting on the issue is scheduled for Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the community room at the Malden Housing Authority, 89 Pearl St.

Owned by Malden businessman William Spadafora, the Freedom Fighters plan to play a six-game home schedule, beginning March 23.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at Bencks.Globe@gmail.com.
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