MINNEAPOLIS - Get ready to open the taps.
University of Minnesota (U of M) Regents voted Wednesday in favor of beer sales at the on-campus TCF Bank Stadium, meaning that beer will be available to fans in both general seating areas and suites beginning this fall.
"We are going to do something that is responsible. We are going to do something that is common sense, that balances the varying opinions out there, and there are strong opinions out there on both sides," Regent Laura Brod said during the meeting.
Regents voted 10 to 1 in favor of selling beer at the stadium, a decision that is expected to bring an additional $1.5 million each year in sales and additional suite rentals.
The lone dissenting vote came from Regent Venora Hung, who did not oppose alcohol sales in the stadium but objected to what she called the Minnesota State Legislature's encroachment in U of M business.
Fans in general seating areas will be able to buy alcohol from two points of purchase, both located on the west side of TCF Stadium which is farthest away from the student section.
A decision on whether to sell just beer or both beer and wine will be made in coming weeks as the University chooses a vendor.
Alcohol sales will resume in the suites at Mariucci and Williams Arenas, said Amy Phenix, University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler's chief of staff. Alcohol sales were permitted in the suites of those arenas until 2009.
"We think this is a balanced plan and we're pleased that we worked with the regents, worked with the legislature to come up with a solution that we think will be a good approach for the University," Phenix concluded.
Phenix said most Big Ten schools allow alcohol in the suites of their football stadiums. Minnesota will be the first school in the conference to allow general alcohol sales, which is something they did when the football team used to play at the Metrodome.
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