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Beer Locations to Increase at U Stadium

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July 10, 2014

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When the Gophers play their opening game of the season at TCF Bank Stadium on August 28 against Eastern Illinois fans will have more locations to buy beer and wine.

A source told Sports Headliners that approximately 150 points of sale in the stadium will serve customers—about double the number from last season.  That means about 150 workers available to sell alcohol in different parts of the stadium.  Also new is beer and wine will be sold 90 minutes prior to kickoff and through the third quarter—compared with 60 minutes and through halftime in 2013.

The athletic department is making the changes to create a better fan experience.  In the past, the stadium beer and wine locations were overcrowded (plaza area only) but being able to purchase those alcohol products at regular concession stands, creating additional points of sale, will provide more efficient service.

Beer and wine sales at TCF Bank Stadium began in 2012 and the athletic department has netted about $200,000 in profit the last two seasons.  That profit is expected to increase this year but the department doesn’t see the alcohol sales so much as a revenue producer as it does filling a customer need.  Most college stadiums don’t sell alcohol but in a pro sports town like Minneapolis the Gophers want to be competitive with amenities.

A few thousand or more University students typically attend Gophers home games and many are under the legal drinking age of 21 in Minnesota.  Customers must show identification to purchase alcohol at the games.  Despite the presence of beer and wine sales at TCF Bank Stadium, University officials didn’t see any significant increase in behavior problems with fans in 2012 and 2013.

Worth Noting 

The Gophers’ opening football game on August 28 at TCF Bank Stadium will start at 6 p.m. and will be televised by the Big Ten Network.  The Vikings play the same night starting at 7 p.m. in Nashville against the Titans in a preseason game televised by KARE 11.

BaseballAmerica.com released its midseason top 50 prospects list on Monday and five players from the Twins organization are in the group including outfielder Byron Buxton who is No. 1 in the rankings.  Third baseman Miguel Sano is No. 9 while right-handed pitchers Jose Berrios, Kohl Stewart and Alex Meyer are No. 27, 30 and 32.

Fox Sports North will televise a replay of Minnesota’s 1965 MLB All-Star Game tonight at 5:30 p.m. and show the 1985 game on Friday at 11 p.m.

Metropolitan Stadium was the site of the 1965 game when the National League defeated the American League, 6-5.  Harmon Killebrew homered and drove in two runs.  Other Twins playing for the American League were Earl Battey, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Jimmie Hall, Tony Oliva and Zoilo Versalles.

The Metrodome hosted the 1985 game and the National League won 6-1.  The lone Twin in the game was reserve outfielder Tom Brunansky who went hitless in one at bat.

As part of All-Star weekend activities, the State Fairgrounds will be the site on Sunday of a first ever event—The  Color Run MLB All-Star 5k Presented by Nike. Baseball alums at the event are expected to include former Twins Scott Erickson, Doug Mientkiewicz and Dave Winfield.  The Color Run website describes a “unique paint race that celebrates health, happiness and individuality.”  Participants are doused in a different colored powder at each kilometer.  More on Sunday’s event at Allstargame.com/run.

Minnesota native and former Timberwolves executive Kevin McHale hasn’t been part of an NBA championship team since the Celtics won the title in 1986 but perhaps that will change in Houston where he is the Rockets head coach.  If speculation turns into reality with the Rockets signing a superb free agent this summer, that could make Houston—already with star players in Dwight Howard and James Harden—a title contender for McHale, the ex-Celtics Hall of Fame power forward.

Joel Engel e-mailed that his son Derrick Engel, the former Gophers wide receiver, is “on track with his rehab” and hopes to be ready for private workouts in coming weeks.  Engel had ACL surgery last December but is hopeful about a career in pro football.

Derrick’s younger brother Sean, who played for Chaska High School as a sophomore wide receiver, is now 6-foot-5 and a player to watch in the class of 2016.

The Twin Cities Dunkers continue to help fund the athletic needs of Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools.  From equipment to transportation to uniforms, gifts from the Dunkers Fund have grown from $32,500 to $71,000 in the last two years and are expected to increase in 2014.  “You have boosted confidence and pride in these kids on and off the playing field,” a coach told the organization.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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