City enforces beach alcohol ban for Thunderboats - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

City enforces beach alcohol ban for Thunderboats

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Thunderboat races along Mission Bay are going dry. 

The City of San Diego announced it will not allow attendees to bring alcohol through the gates of San Diego Bayfair this weekend.

Organizers say the decision came just two days before the big event.

For hydroplane enthusiasts -- it is the event they've all been waiting for -- fast boats, the bay, and family fun.

Unfortunately this year, a new rule by the City of San Diego is putting a damper on things.

“Mayor Faulconer has been a great supporter of this event and we were real surprised he denied the exemption that we were expecting,” Gregg Mansfield said. 

Gregg Mansfield, with San Diego Bayfair, says they were hoping for the same booze ban exemption that was given to the Over the Line Tournament in July.

But instead were told on Tuesday, RVers can only drink alcohol in their motor homes and in designated beer gardens.

“It really ruins the atmosphere of the event,” Steven Jensen said. 

Steven Jensen, who's been volunteering for the past 30 years, says it's not right.

“You go down motor home row and all you see are families -- this is a family event and they just want to be able to have a beer,” Jensen said. 

Justin Clark and his friends spent $1,500 for a prime piece of camp real estate.

“I understand there's people that abuse alcohol, so I understand why the city wants to do it but with the event being closed in with security... I don't understand why we can't enjoy and partake in the alcohol,” Clark said. 

Having a cold beer while watching Thunderboats roar goes hand in hand, says Mansfield, and taking it out could hurt the bottom line.

“We don't know if this could be a viable event next year because we depend on the income that comes from the RVers to help pay the bills,” Mansfield said. 

Bayfair kicks off Friday and goes through Sunday in Mission Bay Park. Organizers say the event brings more than $2 million to the local economy.

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