Regents to vote on campus alcohol sales

The University Of Minnesota Board Of Regents will vote Friday on the authorization of alcohol sales at four campus locations. The locations to be considered are TCF Bank Stadium, Mariucci Arena , Williams Arena , and a restaurant at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum . TCF Bank Stadium was approved to sell alcohol as part of the bill securing its state funding in 2006. Later that year, the University asked for and received permission from the state to serve liquor at seven other locations to be determined later by the Regents. For the existing arenas, not much will change. Craig Flor, the the assistant program director for Intercollegiate Athletics , said alcohol is already available in the Clubroom and suites at Mariucci Arena. Beer, wine and pop are provided free in the Clubroom, and alcohol service in the suites can be arranged through University Dining Services catering at Mariucci Arena, he said. Williams Arena shares the policies. Clients must apply for a free permit, and then buy their own alcohol to have it served to them at events, according to the catering website. The RegentsâÄô approval would allow the venues to sell alcohol rather than giving it away. Drinks will still only be served in restricted, premium seating areas of the sports venues, including the Clubrooms, suites, loge boxes, and special events rooms. âÄúNothing [alcoholic] would ever be available to the general population in our buildings,âÄù Flor said. The NCAAâÄôs policy since 2005 has been to discourage the sale of alcohol at college sporting events. Professional stadiums, such as the Metrodome, have alcohol available on the general concourse at their events, including college events like Gophers football games. Flor said the NCAA policy and the UniversityâÄôs public status are big factors in not selling alcohol to general admission fans. Mike Dale, the facilities director for Williams Arena and the Sports Pavilion , said the beer and wine available at Williams Arena give the businesses who buy the suites and Clubroom passes the opportunity to wine and dine their clients. University spokesman Dan Wolter said the University applied and received a license to sell liquor at Northrop Auditorium in 1999 for a similar reason âÄî to compete with privately owned concert venues. The UniversityâÄôs new policy is similar to other state-owned, NCAA institutions, like WisconsinâÄôs Camp Randall Stadium and Kohl Center , Flor said. Both have alcohol available only in their private areas and clubrooms. Selling the beer and wine would help deal with the few fans every year who really take advantage of the open bar, Flor said. It would also allow the University to recoup the cost of the beer and wine served.