University of Minnesota officials held a media briefing Thursday, Sept. 6 to discuss policies, procedures and safety measures related to alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium during football games. The university will also announce that J.J. Taylor Distributing has been selected as the beer vendor for TCF Bank Stadium.
Officials previewed the points of sale locations and discussed the implementation plan for beer and wine sales, approved by the university's Board of Regents on July 11. Legislation was passed during the 2012 session allowing for the sale of alcohol at a location in the stadium that is convenient to the general public.
"Policies and procedures governing alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium aim to balance the desires of Gopher fans, while also promoting responsible alcohol consumption, ensuring the safety of students and fans and respecting our university neighbors," said Pam Wheelock, VP of University Services. "We are confident these steps will allow for controlled sales of beer and wine to the general seating area, which satisfy the requirements of 2012 legislation without sacrificing the integrity of our educational mission."
Beer and wine will be sold only on the west plaza and in an overflow, cordoned off area outside of Gate A that is only accessible to fans attending the game. Care will be taken to create a visual and physical barrier between the points of sale and the Tribal Nations Plaza outside of Gate A. No alcohol will be allowed in that area. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase where alcohol is sold.
Per university regulations:
- Alcohol sales in TCF Bank Stadium will start one hour prior to kickoff and end at the conclusion of halftime.
- Patrons will be limited to two alcoholic beverages per person per transaction. Patrons may return to their seats to consume their beverages.
- Any customer who appears to be 30 years old or younger must show valid photographic identification before each purchase.
- No hard liquor will be sold or served at TCF Bank Stadium for intercollegiate athletic events.
All servers staffing the individual points of sale were hired and trained, and will be supervised by ARAMARK, the university's official food and beverage service vendor.
ARAMARK Servers are:
- TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) certified. TIPS is a skills-based responsible alcohol training and certification program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking and drunken driving.
- Instructed to properly read and interpret the form of proof of age most commonly used in Minnesota and adjoining states, as well as the identification from the state of the visiting team.
- Subject to discipline, up to and including termination and personal liability, for failing to adhere to TIPS and university guidelines.
- Trained by ARAMARK managers who have passed the required tests to become TIPS Training certified.
To raise awareness of risks associated with drinking and driving, and to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol by customers, the university has teamed with ARAMARK to implement a Designated Driver program. Designated Driver booths will be located at Gate C on the concourse and in the DQ Club Room. Booths will be staffed in partnership with ARAMARK Higher Education, the university's Office of Student Affairs and representatives from the beer distributor.
University of Minnesota police will increase its game day presence, with 12 additional uniformed officers and additional contracted security personnel assigned to the west plaza and outside of Gate A. Approximately 110 law enforcement personnel staff each home Gopher football game.
This implementation plan was developed by a task force of staff from across the university, including Intercollegiate Athletics, Auxiliary Services, Contract Administration, Capital Planning & Project Management, University Police, University of Minnesota Foundation, Office of the General Council, University Relations, the President's Office and Student Affairs.
J.J. Taylor Distributing was selected as the beer vendor for TCF Bank Stadium after responding to a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) collaboratively developed by many departmental representatives and issued by Purchasing Services. J.J Taylor received the highest evaluation score of all respondents, as judged by an evaluation committee consisting of representatives from Purchasing Services, Office of the General Council, Intercollegiate Athletics, the President's Office and Contract Administration.
Locally based in northeast Minneapolis, J.J. Taylor will serve Minnesota-brewed Grain Belt and Summit Pale Ale beers, along with Miller Lite. Red and white wine, purchased through St. Paul based Johnson Brothers, will also be available.