U likely to allow alcohol for Vikes at TCF stadium

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 28, 2012 - 7:10 AM

University President Eric Kaler said a deal to play at TCF Bank Stadium temporarily would have to include liquor sales, barred at U games.


Fans at TCF Bank Stadium when the Vikings hosted the Chicago Bears.

Photo: Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The University of Minnesota's president said Friday that alcohol sales at the U's TCF Bank stadium would probably be allowed should the Minnesota Vikings play there temporarily. The ban on sales at college games would be unchanged.

President Eric Kaler said that the university was considering the issue, with the final decision on enacting separate alcohol policies for pro and college games likely headed to the Board of Regents. The Vikings and the university are in stepped-up negotiations to have the team play at TCF for three years should a new Vikings stadium be built at the site of the Metrodome, the team's home for the past 30 years.

"If we're going to let the Vikings use TCF Stadium, that's going to have to be part of the deal," said Kaler, who said the U is now talking to the team regularly. Kaler, who became president in July, said the regents would have to consider approving alcohol sales "as part of the overall agreement to let the Vikings use" TCF Bank Stadium.

Meanwhile, talk emerged Friday of another possible site option that would make discussions about moving to TCF moot. Vikings vice president of stadium development Lester Bagley and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission chairman Ted Mondale said they've been looking at acreage just southeast of the Dome, between 11th Avenue S. and Interstate 35W. Bagley said that the location would be ideal but that buildings on the site might be difficult to relocate.

"We've not yet seen a viable plan that would accomplish that," he said.

The alcohol issue is but one more complication as Gov. Mark Dayton, legislators, Minneapolis officials and the team race to stitch together a Metrodome stadium plan in time to be considered this year by the Legislature. The session began Tuesday amid indications lawmakers want to adjourn relatively quickly.

Over the past week, Dayton accelerated the stadium debate by declaring that only a new $918 million stadium at the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis had a chance of winning legislative approval this year. The Vikings, whose preference has been for a stadium in Ramsey County's Arden Hills but who have renewed their interest in the Metrodome site, said there would be nearly $50 million in lost revenue and added costs for them to play for three years at the U's smaller stadium.

Clyde Allen Jr., one of the university's 12 regents, said he did not think it would be hypocritical for the school to ban the sale of alcohol at college games but allow it -- often just a day later -- for the Vikings. "I do think there's a difference between the college games and the pro games," Allen said. "I think we have different facts ... and different situations to deal with."

The university currently bans alcohol sales at all on-campus athletic facilities. But an influential alumni group, largely with the school's backing, has pushed for legislative approval for alcohol sales in the premium seats at TCF Stadium during college games.

Legislators have opposed the plan, and at one point were joined by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty in arguing that the school should sell alcohol throughout the stadium or not at all. Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, called the premium seating-only alcohol plan "rather elitist."

Bagley stopped short Friday of saying the team would insist on alcohol sales at the stadium, and a National Football League spokesman said the decision would be left to the team.

The Vikings played a game at TCF in December 2010 after the Metrodome roof collapsed during a snowstorm. No alcohol sales were allowed then.

"Beer sales are pretty much a standard in all NFL stadiums. It's a revenue stream. It's important for the fan experience," Bagley said. While he acknowledged that the Vikings did play the one game at the U without alcohol sales, he said that "it was not a make-or-break issue at that time."

"If we're talking about three seasons at TCF Bank Stadium, this is an issue that's going to have to be sorted through," he said.

Mondale said he was not directly involved in the negotiations between the school and the team, but added that "I would think that's something they're going to insist on. [The Vikings] make a lot of money on beer, right?"

James Erickson, a lobbyist for Friends of Gopher Sports, an alumni group pushing for alcohol sales in premium seats for college football games, said he was not sure how the Vikings situation would affect the group's efforts. "I don't know if it would make it easier or harder," he said.

Venora Hung, another U regent, said she was unsure what the school might do. "I'm sure people are interested" in what might happen, she said. "It's a serious thing, so we would have to think about it very conscientiously."

Staff writer Kevin Duchschere contributed to this report. Mike Kaszuba • 651-222-1673

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9




question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question