Regents pass “dry” alcohol policy

The financial impacts are unknown.

Elizabeth Sias

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents today passed a policy that will ban the sale of alcohol during athletic events at TCF Bank Stadium, Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena. The action makes the University the third school in the Big Ten to disallow the sale of alcohol to premium seating sections. University President Bob Bruininks said the financial ramifications of the new policy are currently unknown, but will fall on intercollegiate athletics. But he is confident that ticket holders of premium seats and suites will keep their commitment. “I’m not telling you with the adoption of this motion that there will be little or no financial impact; there could be some,” Bruininks said. “But I’m leaning much more on the optimistic side — I think we can appeal to the sense of commitment that people have to the University of Minnesota.” Athletics Director Joel Maturi said the greatest financial loss would not be from the dollar amount from alcohol sales, but from the sale of suites without the additional attraction. Regents David Larson and Venora Hung voted against the ban. Larson was concerned of the financial impacts. “I am afraid that this is going to have serious negative financial impact on us over time unless we can get this legislation overturned,” Larson said. “The financial model for this stadium, which we approved, was heavily based on income from premium seats.” The motion passed 10-2. Maturi said he has heard mixed reactions from premium seating ticket holders and the incentive offered will be determined within a few days.