Oakland County Axe Throwing Establishment has Liquor License Suspended

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

September 25, 2018 - At a Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) hearing last month, commissioners ordered a one-day suspension of the liquor license and permits held by Hub Stadium LLC, located at 2550 Takata Drive in Auburn Hills, MI.

“It is our job to make sure that the health, safety and welfare concerns of the public are taken into account wherever alcoholic beverages are sold in the state of Michigan,” said MLCC chairman Andy Deloney. “We were not made aware by the licensee during the licensing application process of any plans for axe throwing at the establishment. When it came to our attention, we investigated the licensee thoroughly and took appropriate disciplinary action.”

A licensed establishment that allows alcohol-consuming patrons to throw potentially injurious and even deadly weapons posed significant concern to the MLCC and on June 21, 2018, MLCC investigators made contact with the licensed establishment while investigating whether health, safety, and welfare concerns existed at this licensed establishment.

While the MLCC does not regulate axe throwing or any other sport – and it is not contrary to the law for sporting activities to take place in liquor licensed establishments – once the results of the investigation showed that a significant threat to the public health existed at this establishment, the MLCC ordered the hearing.

The following activities were observed by the MLCC investigators:

  • Consumption of alcohol in the throwing areas.
  • Spectators in axe-throwing area wearing open-toed shoes, sandals and high heels.
  • Investigators observed spectators in sandals jumping out of the way of rebounding axes to avoid having feet hit by the axe.
  • No enforcement or limit on the number of axes that could be thrown at one time, or rules about axe throwing.
  • No monitoring of the axe throwing area, with spectators wandering in and out.
  • No enforcement of the establishment’s own stated policies, particularly regarding the prohibition of alcohol in the axe throwing areas.

MLCC investigators also noted Hub Stadium’s social media contained videos of patrons participating in axe-throwing practices that appeared to pose threats to the health, safety and welfare of both patrons and employees – none of which were contested at the hearing – including the following:

  • Patrons throwing axes at bottles of spirits, consuming shots from the bottle that was not struck, and a message displayed on the video stating: “Who said don’t mix alcohol with axe throwing?”
  • A person bouncing an axe off the floor to hit the target.
  • A person flipping the axe in mid-air and catching it with the other hand before throwing the axe at the target.
  • A person throwing two axes at once.
  • Three people identified in the video as coaches throwing axes at one target at the same time.
  • A person dropping and catching axes behind his back before throwing two axes at the same time at a target.
  • A person attempting to balance feet on a strap, walking barefoot (tightrope style), carrying and tossing an axe at the target.
  • A person juggling two axes before tossing them at the target.

 

The MLCC found these observations made by its investigators associated with the distribution, sale and consumption of alcohol at these licensed premises sufficiently compelling to issue an Order to Show Cause to determine why the licenses and permits should not be revoked, suspended or amended. The hearing was held on August 30, 2018 in Southfield, MI.

The MLCC found that the investigation, the uncontested and unchallenged observations from the investigators, the licensee’s own advertisements, and the licensee’s statements at the hearing clearly demonstrated threats to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  The MLCC ordered that the licenses and permits should be suspended for a period of one day, on Monday, September 10, 2018, to allow the licensee to make numerous structural and policy changes. At the hearing, the licensee stated that they had implemented some changes and would continue to implement others.

Hub Stadium LLC is the holder of 2018 Class C and Specially Designated Merchant licenses with Sunday Sales Permits (A.M. & P.M.), Dance-Entertainment Permit, Outdoor Service and 2 bars. The licenses and permits were issued on December 20, 2016 as a result of a transfer of ownership.

For more information about the MLCC, please visit http://www.michigan.gov/lcc

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