Beer standoff for U stadium reaching a head

  • Article by: MARY LYNN SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 14, 2009 - 1:53 PM

The Legislature passed a bill Wednesday saying that if beer is sold in the new Gophers football stadium, it must be sold throughout the facility. The U wants to restrict sales to areas where students don't sit.

The beer standoff at the new Gophers stadium is coming to a head.

In a bill passed Wednesday in the Legislature, lawmakers said that if the University of Minnesota is going to sell beer in the stadium's premium seats, it will have to be sold everywhere -- from the luxury suites to the cheap seats.

But university officials don't want alcohol served where students are sitting. So if the governor signs the bill into law, university officials say they may scratch beer from being sold anywhere in the stadium.

"The University of Minnesota's goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable game day experience for all of our fans," university spokesman Daniel Wolter said in a statement. "We acknowledge legislators' concerns on this issue. However, at this time, the university does not intend to sell alcohol in the general seating area, where 20 percent of the fans are students."

The legislative mandate on beer sales in the Gophers' new stadium passed overwhelmingly on Wednesday as part of a larger higher-education budget bill.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, heralded the provision.

"It's good to know the Grey Poupon group in the corporate suites has the same access to adult beverages as the general admission crowd," he said.

 

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