Inside the Article:
A potential shift in the fan experience for Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans is in the offing, thanks to a significant legislative move. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer inked Senate Bill 247 into law on Tuesday, thus allowing public universities to secure liquor licenses for selling alcoholic beverages during football, basketball, and hockey games.
A Game-Changing Legislation for Michigan and Michigan State
Whitmer's signature could significantly change the game-day experience for fans of two of Michigan's largest public universities – the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. “I am proud that we are getting this done and making fall evenings at the Spartan Stadium or the Big House safer and more fun,” said Gov. Whitmer.
Previously, alcohol sales in stadiums were restricted due to legislation and university policies, but with the bill's signing, the universities can opt to sell alcohol during games, provided they obtain the necessary permits.
The move was also seen as a matter of equality by Democrat State Sen. Sean McCann of Kalamazoo. He pointed out that until now, alcohol sales were allowed in private luxury boxes but not for average fans in the stands. “This levels the playing field and will allow all patrons 21 and over at intercollegiate sporting events the ability to enjoy the event with the beverage of their choice,” McCann said.
An Opportunity for Enhanced Fan Experience
Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller has publicly expressed support for alcohol sales at Spartan Stadium in the past, suggesting that this new law will likely open the floodgates for Spartans fans to enjoy a beer or other alcoholic beverages at games in the future.
Similarly, this move has the potential to enhance the in-stadium experience for Wolverines fans as well. At the University of Michigan, the new law could lead to changes at venues such as Michigan Stadium, Crisler Center, and Yost Ice Arena.
However, the timeline for the implementation of these changes remains uncertain. With the upcoming football season only a little over a month away, it's unclear whether either university will have the necessary arrangements in place for alcohol sales to start this season.
Universities' Stance on Alcohol Sales
So far, both universities have been reticent about their plans following the new legislation. The official stance on alcohol sales, whether they would choose to apply for liquor licenses, and when these changes would be implemented are decisions that the athletic departments of both Michigan State and the University of Michigan will need to make in the coming weeks.
While the full story is yet to unfold, the signing of Senate Bill 247 has undeniably made it possible for a new era in fan experience at college games across Michigan.