Barley pop at the Bank?

The University of Minnesota is making a move to sell alcohol in special seating at TCF Bank Stadium. DFL Sen. Jim Metzen successfully amended a liquor bill last week that was being heard in the Senate Commerce Committee. It would allow the U of M to sell alcohol in premium seating.

The U of M sought the liquor exemption last year but was rebuffed when the Legislature required alcohol be sold in the entire stadium if the decision was made to sell alcohol in the stadium. In other words, alcohol had to be sold in the entire stadium if it was sold at all. U of M President Bob Bruininks later announced that alcohol wouldn’t be sold at all at the stadium as a result of the legislation.

Metzen’s amendment would allow for the U of M to sell alcohol selectively in the stadium (my understanding is it would also apply to The Barn and Mariucci Arena).

The bill also requires any proceeds from alcohol sales to be dedicated to athletic scholarships at the U of M. athletic scholarships. Metzen’s amendment also calls for a study of the issue to gauge its impact by January 15, 2012.

The bill moved to the Senate Higher Education Finance Committee.

Question of the Day: Should the U of M be allowed to sell alcohol in premium seating exclusively or should any legally aged ticket holder be allowed to buy a beer at the game?

  • Jon

    If funds were used to keep tuition prices lower, yes, let the taps flow. For athletic scholarships, it doesn’t seem worth the downsides – limited to the elite or not.

  • Bill Gleason

    Just say No. Booze for all of legal age or booze for none. How tough is that for the Morrill Hall Gang to understand?

    It should be noted that Sen. Metzen is the brother of Former Regent David Metzen – who was the unofficial regent for athletics at the U of M. This alcohol for the suit(e)s business was originally his idea.

    Great! Athletic scholarships… I guess that would make it ok?

    How about tuition relief? How about scholarships for all the students. How about alcohol – in moderation – for all those of legal age?

  • Mark

    If the money is going to be used for athletic scholarships, why would you limit it to just premium seating? I understand it from a marketing standpoint to move a product, but then that limits the amount of revenue to be garnered from it. Not only that, but what about the psychological implications for people of lesser means? That’s kind of a slap in the face. Give people in premium seating discounted or free alcohol, but let everyone have access to it.

  • Student

    Like they said in my elementary school, if you don’t have enough for everyone, leave it at home.

    If the rich and elite can drink, so should everyone else. Think of all the additional scholarship money if ALL sales were to go for scholarships, vs. just those from the premium seating area?

    Students are adults, they have rights and they should be treated equal to those who are in premium seating. If you’re 21 years old, you should be able to drink.

    Enough said.

  • Doug

    Well, you won’t find me sitting in the elite seating so no beer for me. Cap that off with a terrible coach and a terrible team. In fact, you won’t find me sitting in the regular seats. There are just too many other options for my entertainment dollar.

  • John Jacboson

    Beer for all or beer for none! The taxpayers of Minnesota paid for the vast majority of all the sporting stadiums and arenas at the U, so why shouldn’t they be able to drink at them?

    This amendment is elitism at its worst…

  • Bob

    If you believe in personal responsibility and consequences for inappropriate actions as I do, then doesn’t the law state that you can drink at age 21. Why should the stadiums be any different? If those under 21 choose to drink and get caught, they will have to deal with the consequence of their choice.

  • Garrett Peterson

    I agree that it would be more fair to have alcohol for everyone, but the Big 10 doesn’t allow for alcohol sales unless they are restricted to private boxes and elite seating areas.

    Given the Big 10 rules, this isn’t about giving extra benefits to the rich, it’s about squeezing extra money out of the big-money donors who pay for the expensive seats, and it’s about selling out all the high-priced box seating.

    The Gophers had trouble selling their most expensive seats after the alcohol ban last year, and that additional revenue would be greatly appreciated.

  • Bill Gleason

    Big Ten doesn’t allow alcohol sales?

    I think you’d better look into this a little more carefully. As you should know alcohol was sold at the Metrodome, so obviously there is not an absolute prohibition by the BigTen.

    The additional revenue of selling beer – to all those of legal age and in moderation – would be greatly appreciated.