Expanded alcohol sales are on tap at the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena and 3M Arena at Mariucci, as university regents signed off on the plan Friday.
Beer and wine sales at Williams Arena and 3M Arena at Mariucci–home to men’s and women’s basketball and the men’s hockey program, respectively–had been limited to premium areas. A proposal to expand alcohol sales has been in the works, however, with the goal being to allow fans in all seating areas to purchase beer and wine.
That idea is now moving forward, as university regents voted unanimously Friday to permit beer and wine sales in general seating areas. The expansion of beer and wine sales had been pitched as a potential revenue boost, and another selling point to fans in the competitive Twin Cities market. More from the Star Tribune:
Mariucci is home to the men’s hockey team, and Williams plays host to both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The U has indicated that after one-time startup costs of $70,000, revenue at both arenas is projected to be about $250,000, not including increased ticket sales.
Athletic director Mark Coyle has previously said the U needs to get “creative” to get fans back in the stands. When it comes to entertainment, the Gophers are up against a wealth of options and amenities in the Twin Cities, he said after Friday’s vote.
“Our competition is not Wisconsin or Iowa,” Coyle said. “It’s professional teams, it’s movie theaters.”
Expanded beer and wine sales will take effect at both facilities in the upcoming basketball and hockey seasons.
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