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Alcohol to be sold at U of M Crisler Center, Yost Ice Arena

The University of Michigan’s Athletic Department announced that alcohol will be sold at the Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena starting February 2. The move follows the university's Board of Regents voting to allow alcohol at games in October. Last summer the passage of a bipartisan bill that allowed public universities to apply for alcohol licenses at sporting events.

In a statement, the Athletic Department said all patrons must show ID for every alcohol purchase. There will also be a two-drink limit per guest.

The first event with alcohol sales will be the February 2 wrestling meet against Iowa, the department said, and the first men’s basketball game with alcohol will be the February 3 home game against Rutgers. Yost Ice Center will sell alcohol for the first time when the Wolverines play against MSU on February 9.

The Athletic Department said that it will consider whether to begin selling alcohol to fans at Michigan Stadium based on data collected from Yost Arena and the Crisler Center.

Sean McCann, a Democratic state senator representing Kalamazoo, introduced the bill that opened the door for public universities to apply for licenses to serve alcohol. He cited improvements to the fan experience, monetary benefits and successes at other state universities as reasons public universities backed the bill.

McCann also expressed hope the bill would cut back on pre-game binge drinking — “the mentality that ‘I might be tailgating, but I'm not going to be able to be permitted to have alcohol in the venue. So I'm going to drink two or three beers before I get in to get me into the game,’ and that behavior is going to be not positive,” he said.

“The thinking is that you won't have that behavior occur as much,” as a result of the move to allow alcohol sales at games, McCann said.

He added that schools must follow rules to ensure safety at games. Those include implementing of ID stations, requiring wristbands for patrons, and ensuring beverages are consumed by those who buy them. McCann said there should also be security measures around the venues.

“At the end of the day, each venue has to abide by the guidelines that exist already for doing this kind of thing and making sure that they're in full compliance,” he said.

The University of Michigan owns Michigan Public's Broadcast License

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.
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