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Senate green-lights beer sales at U of M football games

Posted by: under Minnesota legislature Updated: March 28, 2012 - 12:48 PM

Fans of beer and college football, rejoice. The Legislature has hammered out a compromise that would allow beer sales at University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved an omnibus liquor bill that includes a compromise between the university and its fans, who have wrangled for years over whether and where beer should be served in the stadium. The university initially wanted to sell beer only to patrons in its suite level, but the compromise allows beer sales to Gopher fans in the general stadium as well.

“Peace in the valley,” Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, called the compromise, which was included in the omnibus by a simple voice vote. The liquor omnibus itself passed by a thundering 58-4 vote.

“Freedom!!!!!!” Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, tweeted afterward.

University officials watched the result of years of negotiations with approval. But the Board of Regents will still have to hammer out the logistics of the beer sales – where and how the beer will be sold; possibly in a stadium beer garden or other venue.

“The University has been in discussions with legislators on both sides of the aisle about the logistical challenge of instituting the current law, so we do support this legislative fix,” university Director of Public Relations Chuck Tombarge said in a statement. “Ultimately, however, the Board of Regents will examine any law changes and determine how alcohol sales would be managed at TCF Bank Stadium.”

The House omnibus liquor bill already includes the U of M beer sales provision. That bill will head to the floor for final approval sometime in the next few days.
 

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