Keep alcohol sales at TCF

Gophers fans have behaved responsibly, and the University should maximize its profit.

Come July, the University of Minnesota’s experiment with selling beer and wine at TCF Bank Stadium — which began two seasons ago — will end.

Whether alcohol sales will continue is subject to approval by the state Legislature. The University’s Board of Regents is expected to go over a report on the two-year experiment and vote on a recommendation to continue sales at its meeting Friday.

After initially losing $15,516 in its first year of alcohol sales, the University was able to renegotiate terms and ended up with a profit of $21,000 in 2012. The athletics department made nearly $182,000 in profit from alcohol sales in 2013, according to the report.

The report also notes that the sale of alcohol at TCF lead did not lead to any significant behavior or crime issues in or around the stadium.

The University had initially banned alcohol at the stadium because state lawmakers required the University to either sell beer to people in the luxury suites and in the general admission area or to not sell it at all. The University opted for the latter.

That policy ended when the Legislature passed a bill in 2012 allowing beer for fans in designated beer tents during football games until halftime.

Given that the University has been able to profit from its two years of alcohol sales without a significant increase in crime or poor behavior, the regents should recommend that sales continue and request that the Legislature make alcohol sales at TCF permanent. The University and Legislature could also relax restrictions on where fans can purchase alcohol, which could make it more convenient for customers and increase revenue.

Gophers fans have proven themselves responsible enough to enjoy alcoholic beverages at TCF without getting out of control. The regents and state lawmakers should now work to allow the University to maximize profit at Gophers football games.