MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota (U of M) Board of Regents will take up a resolution and discuss implementation plans Wednesday to allow beer and wine sales at TCF Bank Stadium.
The proposed plan would provide fans the opportunity to buy alcohol both in general fan areas and the premium seating areas of Williams and Mariucci arenas during intercollegiate athletic events.
"First and foremost, we are committed to the safety of students and fans and to being good neighbors," said Amy Phenix, chief of staff to U of M President Eric Kaler. "The proposed implementation plan is a balanced approach offering very limited sales in the general seating area, consistent with requirements of 2012 legislation and our educational mission."
Here are some key elements of the U's proposed alcohol implementation plan:
- The university will not sell or serve hard liquor. Only beer or beer and wine will be offered at intercollegiate athletic events.
- Alcohol sales in TCF Bank Stadium will start one hour prior to kick-off and end at the conclusion of halftime.
- There will only be one point of sale, on the west end of the general seating area of TCF Bank Stadium. Care will be taken to create a visual and physical barrier between the point of sale and the Veteran's Memorial and Tribal Nations Plaza outside of the west end gates. No alcohol will be allowed on those spaces.
- Fans will be limited to two beers per person per transaction. Buyers may return to their seats to consume their beverages.
- All staff servers will be trained to check identification, identify intoxicated patrons and take other precautions to promote responsible and safe consumption.
- Fans must show a valid ID before each purchase.
- University of Minnesota police and private security will increase their presence in the plaza area to ensure safety, and a designated driver program will be offered.
- The plan sunsets in two years and the university is considering it a pilot project that will include continual assessment and adjustment as needed to promote safety and responsible consumption.
The alcohol sales plan was developed by a task force including staff from intercollegiate athletics, auxiliary services, contract administration, capital planning and project management, the university's police department, the University of Minnesota Foundation, the Office of the General Counsel, University Relations, student affairs and the president's office.
During the 2012 legislative session, lawmakers and Governor Mark Dayton eliminated restrictions on the university's liquor licenses that led the university's Board of Regents in 2009 to prohibit alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium, Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena during athletic events.
Current legislation, which allows the university more easily controlled alcohol sales, requires alcoholic beverages to be convenient to the general seating area.
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