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Beer, wine sales approved arena-wide at Williams Arena, 3M Arena at Mariucci

Beer and wine has only been available to fans with premium seats.

Sale of beer and wine at 3M Arena at Mariucci and Williams Arena were approved Friday in a unanimous vote by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, meaning alcohol will be sold beyond arena-wide at both venues beginning with the upcoming fall sports seasons. 

The beer and wine sales will be for hockey games at Mariuccu and basketball games at Williams Arena, in addition to fans with clubroom access for volleyball and wrestling events at Maturi Pavilion now allowed to purchase beer and wine. 

"We are appreciative of the Board in approving this measure," said Athletics Director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "Our No. 1 goal will always remain to provide a safe and fan-friendly environment, but we also need to continue to be competitive in the amenities we offer our fans." 

The beer and wine recommendations were made by U of M President Eric Kaler in April. He estimated that it would take approximately $70,000 to get all three venues ready to sell alcohol at concession stands, but he also projected the costs to outweigh expenses by a projected annual revenue "in the range of $250,000."

Kaler also suspects the beer and wine availability will boost attendance, which has been on a downward trend at the venues. 

The U of M recently reduced the cost of some season tickets for men's basketball and men's hockey with a goal to get more people in the stands. 

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