A right to party

A new bill could allow general alcohol sales at Mariucci and Williams arenas.

Editorial board

 

Last week, a bill that would expand alcohol sales at Mariucci and Williams arenas was introduced in the Minnesota House, authored by Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park.

Currently, the sale of alcohol is only allowed in premium seating areas at both sports facilities. The bill is similar to the one that was passed by the Legislature last year to allow alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium.

For the last three years, Mariucci and Williams went dry due to an “all-or-nothing” ban on the sale of alcohol at campus events, a policy put forth by the Legislature. Last year, both facilities applied for and were granted liquor licenses again in premium seating sections.

With the support of the state Legislature and the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, both arenas could expand the sale of alcohol to the general seating area and maximize revenue as TCF Bank Stadium did this year. Alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium last football season brought in more than $900,000.

Despite concern over a possible increase in alcohol-related incidents, last semester students behaved themselves for the most part. Only 19 alcohol-related incidents were reported during the first three home football games during the 2012 season — a decrease from the previous year. Available purchase of alcohol at the stadium did not appear to cause more problems for University police or stadium security.

We should remind ourselves that the sale of alcohol at sporting events is a privilege. If the bill is passed and the measure is approved by the regents, students should continue to check their behavior as fans and as representatives of the University.