Michigan colleges could sell alcohol during sport events under new bill

New legislation introduced Thursday will 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.

"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," said Filler (R-Clinton County). "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."

Of the 14 schools in the Big Ten, eight allow alcohol sales at football games.

"The data is clear that allowing alcoholic beverages in venues during sporting events lowers the probability of excessive alcohol consumption," said Tate (D-Detroit), who co-sponsored the legislation in the House.

House Bill 6289 and Senate Bill 1125 would allow alcohol to be sold within the public areas of university football, basketball, and hockey stadiums. The legislation would allow sales hours before and after each game.   

The bills will be sent to the Regulatory Reform committees in both chambers for consideration.