Bills would allow Michigan colleges to sell alcohol at sport games

University of Michigan basketball
University of Michigan basketball(WNEM TV5)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 12:43 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - State lawmakers have introduced a plan to allow universities in Michigan to sell alcohol at on-campus sporting events.

The bipartisan legislation would lift the state ban and allow university governing boards to apply for liquor licenses to sell alcohol at basketball, football, and hockey games.

It was introduced by Rep. Graham Filler (E-Clinton County), Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), and Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-East Lansing).

“This is a fairness and freedom issue that will allow for a modern, more enjoyable college game-day experience – but it’s also a public health and safety issue,” Filler said. “Data from universities in other states clearly shows that the number of alcohol-related incidents inside stadiums declines when alcohol sales are allowed. Instead of binge drinking in the parking lot or sneaking alcohol into the stadium, fans can simply purchase a beer in the concourse.”

House Bill 6289 and Senate Bill 1125 would allow the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to issue up to three tavern licenses or three Class C liquor licenses in public areas for university football, basketball, and hockey stadiums.

Sales would be allowed two hours before and after each game.

“It’s simply a matter of fairness,” Hertel said. “Alcohol is served at MSU football games now, but only if you’re lucky enough to watch the game in a suite. Beer at the game should be allowed for more than just rich donors. Beyond that, there is overwhelming evidence that shows selling alcohol inside the stadium significantly reduces binge drinking on game days.”

The bills have been referred to the House and Senate Regulatory Reform committees for consideration.