University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has sent a letter to the Board of Regents encouraging the sales of alcoholic beverages at Williams Arena, Maturi Pavilion and 3M Arena at Mariucci.
The Board of Regents already has liquor licenses at all three venues, but only beer and wine is offered in general seating areas at TCF Bank Stadium. The only fans that can purchase beer or wine at Williams, Maturi and Mariucci are those with access to premium seats.
Kaler wants to change that, writing to the Board of Regents that he supports the sale of beer and wine – not hard alcohol – in general seating areas at Williams Arena during men's and women's basketball games, and at 3M Arena at Mariucci for men's hockey games beginning next season.
Kaler also encouraged the Board to consider allowing beer and wine sales inside the Maturi Pavilion Club Room, which is being renovated. He's not asking for beer and wine sales for general seating at Maturi Pavilion for the 2019-20 sports season, but the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) on the U of M campus is seeking permission to expand into general seating areas in future years.
If approved, Kaler and the ICA hope that beer and wine regulations will be identical to what's in place at TCF Bank Stadium.
- Keep things safe and fan friendly.
- Certified staff serving alcohol.
- Limit of 2 beverages per person, per purchase.
- No hard alcohol for sale.
- ID checks for all customers.
- Alcohol sales start 1 hour before games begin with last call by the end of halftime during basketball games and at the end of the second intermission during hockey games.
Kaler estimates that it'll take approximately $70,000 to get all three venues ready to sell alcohol at concession stands, but he also projects the costs will outweighed by a projected annual revenue "in the range of $250,000."
He also suspects it'll 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.
"I strongly support the request from ICA given the intensely competitive sports entertainment market we have in the Twin Cities and the positive results we have experienced with general seating alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium," Kaler wrote in the letter to the Board.
The memo is expected to be discussed further with potential resolution during the May Board of Regents meeting.