NCF Nation: Robert Bruininks
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
University of Minnesota president Robert Bruininks will reluctantly recommend Friday that the school's Board of Regents make all athletic venues alcohol free on game days. This includes TCF Bank Stadium, which opens Sept. 12 for Minnesota's football game against Air Force.
Bruininks' recommendation comes in the wake of a new state law that would require alcohol sales throughout the stadium or nowhere at all. Minnesota's original plan called for alcohol sales only in premium-seating areas (luxury suites, club boxes).
"From the beginning of this project, we planned to sell alcohol only in controlled-access, premium seating areas of the stadium, consistent with the practice of the vast majority of college campuses," Bruininks said in a prepared statement. "This was the plan we shared publicly and with the legislature three years ago, and the plan that our business model was based upon.
"Unfortunately, this new legislation leaves us with only two options: to become the only Big Ten campus in the country to sell alcohol throughout its football stadium, or to not sell alcohol at all. Our values do not change, even if our plans must. We have never sold alcohol at student-oriented events in the past, and I do not recommend we start now."
Bruininks will propose Friday that the Board make TCF Bank Stadium, Williams Arena and Mariucci Arena dry for games. The Board is expected to rule during a June 24 meeting.
The lack of any alcohol sales will have financial repurcussions for Minnesota, and I agree with The Sporting News' Dave Curtis that the new state law is misguided. If people want to shell out big bucks to drink in a controlled setting, let them. But a school simply can't sell alcohol at the regular concession stands, even if many of the students will be drunk anyway.