Expanded alcohol sales bill off the table

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A bill that would expand alcohol sales at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci and Williams arenas was withdrawn Wednesday by Minnesota Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park.

The bill would’ve allowed the University to serve alcohol at sporting events in the arenas’ general seating instead of only in premium-seating areas.

Schoen said he withdrew the bill to give the University more time to solidify its sales strategies for expanded alcohol sales.

“I think that they’re poised to want to do this at their facilities,” Schoen said, “But they don’t want to be forced into it.”

University officials testified at a hearing on the bill in March, saying the University isn’t ready to expand sales like they have in TCF Bank Stadium.

“We’ll bring it in again during the next session and make sure that they’re ready for it,” Schoen said.

Legislators also found it “disturbing,” he said, that the University brought in $900,000 in beer sales yet still didn’t make a net profit.

“Obviously there are bigger problems over at the University of Minnesota,” Schoen said.