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Expansion of U stadium liquor sales (new law)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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For the University of Minnesota, it’s all or nothing when it comes to liquor sales at TCF Bank Stadium that is scheduled to open this fall.

A provision in the omnibus liquor law requires the university to change its plans regarding alcoholic purchases only in the premium seating area and suites.

Under the new law, mostly effective May 21, 2009, a liquor license can be issued for the facility only if sales are allowed throughout the stadium. “It should be all or nothing; you can’t just have a situation that applies only in the luxury suites. If you’re not in a luxury suite you can’t have a beer?” said Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul) who successfully offered the amendment on the House floor.

Sponsored by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park), the law is a catchall for the various liquor-related bills acted on this session.

The law also addresses an issue Augsburg College in Minneapolis has regarding alcoholic sales by permitting the city to consider issuance of an on-sale license. The college has been serving alcohol at selected alumnae events over the years, before finding out that it didn’t have a license to do so. This provision is effective upon approval of the Minneapolis City Council.

The law also provides for consideration of liquor licenses by issuing authorities for:

• the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center for intercollegiate hockey games;

• Sporty’s Pub & Grill in Minneapolis;

• the Best Western Superior Inn and Suites and East Bay Suites in Grand Marais; and

• private convention centers outside the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Additional provisions allow for on-sale liquor hours to be expanded at the Humphrey and Lindbergh airport terminals; and license holders selling wine to hold wine-tasting events.

The law adds a device designed to ensure safe storage and monitoring of alcohol in the home to the list of items that can be sold by liquor stores.

HF1476*/ SF1313/CH120

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