Beer at the Breslin Center? Legislation would allow alcohol sales at college sports in Michigan

‘Beer at the game should be allowed for more than just rich donors’
Legislation would allow alcohol sales at college sports in Michigan
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 3:47 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 6:14 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan lawmakers introduced legislation that would allow universities in Michigan to sell alcohol at on-campus sporting events.

The bipartisan legislation would lift the state ban and allow university governing boards to apply for liquor licenses to sell alcohol at basketball, football and hockey games. Universities would have to apply for a liquor license to sell, with sales being permitted two hours before and after each event.

“Alcohol is served at MSU football games now, but only if you’re lucky enough to watch the game in a suite. Beer at the game should be allowed for more than just rich donors,” said State Sen. Curtis Hertel. “Beyond that, there is overwhelming evidence that shows selling alcohol inside the stadium significantly reduces binge drinking on game days.”

Lawmakers said eight of the 14 schools in the Big Ten allow alcohol sales at football games and that most of the schools have seen decreases in the number of alcohol-related incidents.

“This is a fairness and freedom issue that will allow for a modern, more enjoyable college game-day experience, but it’s also a public health and safety issue,” said State Rep. Graham Filler. “Data from universities in other states clearly shows that the number of alcohol-related incidents inside stadiums declines when alcohol sales are allowed. Instead of binge drinking in the parking lot or sneaking alcohol into the stadium, fans can simply purchase a beer in the concourse.”

House Bill 6289 and Senate Bill 1125 would allow the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to issue up to three tavern licenses or three Class C liquor licenses in public areas for university football, basketball, and hockey stadiums.

“The data is clear that allowing alcoholic beverages in venues during sporting events lowers the probability of excessive alcohol consumption,” said State Rep. Joe Tate.

The measures have been referred to the House and Senate Regulatory Reform committees for consideration.

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