Senate bill leaves stadium alcohol policy up to regents

Booze may be up to the board

This from the Associated Press, and the proposed legislation comes after that.

(MPR’s Tim Post will be following up on the story, though, so tune in for more. I’ll put up any updates that I get from him.)

Lawmaker serves up new Mpls. stadium booze bill

Minnesota lawmakers are coping with their three-year hangover: Whether to allow beer and alcohol sales at the University of Minnesota’s on-campus football stadium.

The latest bill leaves the matter entirely up to the school’s Board of Regents after previous legislative efforts to fashion a compromise left the stadium dry. The Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee advanced the bill Wednesday, but it has a ways to go.

Sen. Geoff Michel says state lawmakers have “kind of become a liquor control board for the University of Minnesota.” Current law permits a liquor license at TCF Bank Stadium if beer is made available in at least one-third of the general seating area.

The university wants to restrict sales to suites and premium seating, arguing it would make those tickets more attractive and lucrative and make it easier to prevent consumption by minors.

Opponents of the suite-only policy consider it to be elitist.

The bill:

S.F. No. 1076,  as introduced – 87th Legislative Session (2011-2012)

1.1A bill for an act

1.2relating to liquor; eliminating certain conditions for a liquor license at TCF Bank

1.3Stadium; amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 340A.404, subdivision 4a;

1.4repealing Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 137.0226.

1.5BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

1.6 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 340A.404, subdivision 4a, is amended to

1.7read:

1.8 Subd. 4a. Publicly owned recreation; entertainment facilities. (a)

1.9Notwithstanding any other law, local ordinance, or charter provision, the commissioner

1.10may issue on-sale intoxicating liquor licenses:

1.11 (1) to the state agency administratively responsible for, or to an entity holding a

1.12concession or facility management contract with such agency for beverage sales at, the

1.13premises of any Giants Ridge Recreation Area building or recreational improvement area

1.14owned by the state in the city of Biwabik, St. Louis County;

1.15 (2) to the state agency administratively responsible for, or to an entity holding a

1.16concession or facility management contract with such agency for beverage sales at, the

1.17premises of any Ironworld Discovery Center building or facility owned by the state at

1.18Chisholm;

1.19 (3) to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota for events at Northrop

1.20Auditorium, the intercollegiate football stadium, or at no more than seven other locations

1.21within the boundaries of the University of Minnesota, provided that the Board of Regents

1.22has approved an application for a license for the specified location and provided that a

1.23license for an arena or stadium location is void unless it requires the sale or service of

1.24intoxicating liquor in a public portion consisting of at least one-third of the general seating

2.1of a stadium or arena. It is solely within the discretion of the Board of Regents to choose

2.2the manner in which to carry out this condition; and

2.3(4) to the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Authority for beverage

2.4sales on the premises of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Arena during

2.5intercollegiate hockey games.

2.6 The commissioner shall charge a fee for licenses issued under this subdivision in an

2.7amount comparable to the fee for comparable licenses issued in surrounding cities.

2.8 (b) No alcoholic beverage may be sold or served at TCF Bank Stadium unless the

2.9Board of Regents holds an on-sale intoxicating liquor license for the stadium as provided

2.10in paragraph (a), clause (3).

2.11 Sec. 2. REPEALER.

2.12Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 137.0226, is repealed.

2.13 Sec. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.

2.14This act is effective the day following final enactment.