Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is embracing beer.
The University of Minnesota Regents voted Wednesday to allow beer sales during Minnesota home football games. The measure was approved 10-1 and could bring in as much as $1.5 million yearly in extra revenue to the university.
Minnesota now joins 21 universities that sell beer in their stadiums on football Saturdays, though the bulk of those teams play in a city-owned or pro sports venues. Schools such as Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Akron and Maryland started public beer sales in 2009 and West Virginia approved a measure to start selling beer inside its stadium last year.
Minnesota will be the first Big Ten school to offer alcohol sales outside of its suites.
But beer sales aren't new for the Gophers. The school also sold alcohol when the football team played at the Metrodome.
The regents designated two vending areas for alcohol, which are located on the west side of the stadium and farthest away from the student section.
There are still some kinks to be worked out such as determining whether to sell just beer or beer and wine, and how many drinks each person would be allowed to get at any one time. Also, the regents must determine when alcohol sales will cease during the game.
There has been a lot of debate about selling alcohol to the general public during collegiate sporting events. Proponents say it makes it easier to police alcohol intake during events while others claims it makes an already raucous event even crazier.
However, thanks to increased security, there has been almost no significant increase in incidents because alcohol was sold inside stadiums.
The one thing Minnesota has going for it is that it's sold beer during games before. It knows what type of security it will need and what types of measures it must take during game days to ensure safety. And as long as those things are addressed, there should be no fear in satisfying the public's thirst for beer.
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