Let the good times flow!
Minnesota lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a bill that will allow for sale of beer at TCF Bank Stadium beginning this fall. The Senate approved the measure, 55-3, last week. The House backed the measure, 115-13, on Monday.
Gov. Mark Dayton said he will sign the bill, which will make Minnesota the first Big Ten stadium to serve suds.
"It was surprising that Wisconsin didn't do this years ago," Bob Hughes, president of the booster group Goal Line Club, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "The beer tents, the music is a Wisconsin thing. But we're the ringleaders."
Plans call for beer to be sold in suites for premium tickets holders and in beer gardens for the public. Sales will be cut off at the start of the second half.
Sales could bring an additional $2 million in revenue to the university.
Fans strongly backed the measure. A poll on the website of the St. Paul Pioneer Press asked if serving beer during Golden Gopher games was a good idea. At the time of this post, 84.18% of voters approved.
More colleges are allowing the sale of beer in stadiums, led by the Big East. West Virginia, which has since moved to the Big 12, became the seventh member of the Big East to sell beer at home games last fall. Louisville took it a step further, allowing the sale of hard liquor such as bourbon.
The only Big East holdout was Rutgers, but officials at the New Jersey school have been talking about opening the taps for over a year and there's a chance it could happen this fall.
Research by SportsBusiness Journal last fall found that 21 of the 120 Division I-A teams sold beer at stadiums. Eleven of those teams played at university-owned stadiums. Colorado State, Houston, Louisiana Lafayette, Nevada and Nevada Las Vegas are among other schools that opened the taps.
Schools from the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences have yet to OK public sales.