Bruininks may push for stadium alcohol sales again

TCF Bank Stadium

With state funding in jeopardy, it sounds like University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks may take another run at getting alcohol served at TCF Bank Stadium — but only in the premium seats and suites.

(Last year he turned down compromise legislation allowing alcohol sales as long as a third of the stadium’s general seating also had alcohol available. Although he wants the revenue for the U, he sees mass alcohol sales in the stadium to be inappropriate.)

Reporter’s question: Have you talked yet with legislators about changing the rules for alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium?

We’re exploring whether we can get some change in this legislation. When we proposed to bring the football stadium back to the University of Minnesota campus, the plan did involve very modest alcohol sales in preferred seating. That’s roughly 10-15 percent of the seats in the stadium. That is the predominant practice in Division I football across the entire country. Only about two universities in the countries serve alcohol in the general seating areas.… It’s costing the university roughly $1.5 million to $2 million a year in foregone revenue. That revenue is absolutely essential to pay off the bonds. It was part of the original plan that we put before the legislature. … I will not support in my tenure any proposal that provides serious service of alcohol in the general seating areas of the stadium.