Soccer fans planning to tune into the 2023 Women’s World Cup from the comfort of a barstool (and a bevy in hand) at their favorite local bar are in luck — the City of Hoboken has approved a change to its liquor license serving laws, permitting local bars to start serving alcohol at 5AM for the month-long period of the tournament. Read on for what we know about Hoboken’s adjusted liquor license laws for the Women’s World Cup games this year.
Watching the World Cup in Hoboken
The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament begins Thursday, July 20th in Australia + New Zealand — meaning, in Hoboken, the games will kick off at 5AM. Per Fox 5, Hoboken bars have been pushing to open up at 5AM to appease soccer fans, with “a full slate of games… to indulge and imbibe before dawn.”
Even for those who aren’t soccer fans, the tournament is exciting and there are some familiar faces to look for: three Jersey City residents have been named to the US National Women’s Soccer Team, per NJ.com. Defender Kelley O’Hara, midfielder Kristie Mewis and forward Lynn Williams will be a part of the team that will take on the World Cup tournament this summer representing the US. All three women play on the NJ/NY Gotham in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).
Read More: Hoboken Bars to Watch Sports At
On July 13th, the City of Hoboken approved this change, though not without stipulations. Accordingly, the new ordinance states that while bars can serve drinks at 5AM, “there can be no outside mingling or partying before 10AM.” Bars will also have to pay a $100 registration fee to participate in the early opening.
Fox 5 calls the change a “chance for the bars to capitalize on the excitement of the World Cup and cater to soccer fans who want to watch the games live,” and local bar owners agree. Orlando Castilla, the manager of Black Bear, told the news outlet “Everyone loves soccer,” and expressed certainty that people will show up for the fun.
Despite excitement from the bars + fans, some Hoboken City Council members have expressed concerns with the change, citing quality-of-life concerns due to “early-morning crowds.”
As of now, it’s unconfirmed which Hoboken bars will be participating in the early morning festivities (though Black Bear + Madd Hatter are pretty definite), but we assume many of the spots that streamed the FIFA World Cup last fall will get in on the action.
More About the Proposal
Hoboken bars have previously opened early for FIFA World Cup games in other time zones. This proposal isn’t the first time the City Council has discussed early opening hours, but this proposal sets up a mechanism to streamline future conversations. If adopted as proposed, qualifying bars (depending on liquor license type) are automatically permitted to open early for men’s and women’s World Cup tournament games. Qualifying matches are not included, and bars may not extend closing hours. Bar owners must coordinate with the City on plans, and plans must be approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Bureau.
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The City Council will hold a special session to take a final vote on July 24th, which will still be after the early games of the tournament.
The Hoboken Girl reached out to the City of Hoboken for additional comment on the liquor license change but has yet to hear back. Of course, we’ll keep you updated on any additional details.