Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Starting this fall, fans will be able to buy a beer at TCF Bank Stadium. The University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted 10-1 to allow beer sales.
The sales will not only be in the luxury suites but for those in all other seats as well.
The beer will only be sold at a beer garden under the scoreboard. If lines are long, there is a backup plan.
“When the lines get too long there will be an additional point of sale outside of Gate A in a fenced in area that we are calling an overflow site,” said Amy Phenix of the University of Minnesota.
The sales at Mariucci and Williams will only be in those big buck suites. But at TCF, the ordinary fan — provided they have ID and are of age — will be able to buy a beer this fall.
At least one regent predicted they will eventually have to ease the limits on sales because of long lines and the long walk from many seats to get a beer.
“I would predict that within two years, if we are going to make beer and wine available, it will be available throughout the stadium at the sites that are currently serving non-alcoholic beverages,” said regent Dean Johnson.
There are also restrictions: 2 beers per customer and sales will end at half time. Still, fans we talked to think the sales are long overdue.
“Everyone drinks out in the parking lot why not sell it inside and make money off of it,” said fan Sam Homan.
Even regents who voted for it expressed concern.
“Enforcement is going to be key. Chief Hesness and his folks are going to be busy. I hope they’re stringent, they’re polite, they’re law-abiding, all of that. But the public is watching this issue,” said Johnson.
When the Minnesota Viking played the Chicago Bears at TCF in 2010 after the Dome collapsed there were no beer sales. But the Regents’ decision today will allow the Vikings and any other team or concert artist to also sell beer at potentially more locations than just the beer garden area.
The University says the alcohol sales will mean $1.5 million in additional revenue, nearly all of it from the U’s plan to now charge 10 percent more for luxury suites.