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Published January 13, 2011, 02:08 PM

Proposed ND House Bill Could Ban Alcohol At College Sporting Events

A new proposed bill going through the North Dakota Legislature may end alcohol sales at college sporting events. If house Bill 1212 passes in North Dakota it will leave college sports fans a little drier.

A new proposed bill going through the North Dakota Legislature may end alcohol sales at college sporting events. If house Bill 1212 passes in North Dakota it will leave college sports fans a little drier.

If the bill passes, two businesses in town will take a major hit. The Alerus Center and the Ralph Englestad Arena are the biggest event centers for our college sports.

"If it were to pass, I think it would negatively impact every part of our business from attendance to food and beverage revenues and suite sales and club seat sales. I think it would have an extremely negative impact on our business if it were to pass," said Jody Hodgson, Executive Director of the Ralph Englestad Arena.

"It's something, certainly that we'll want to look into and discuss as a group and with our commission in the city to see the impact and try to understand how it might impact the Alerus Center or the community as well," said Cheryl Swanson, Executive Director of the Alerus Center.

The bill is targeting events where minors will be present. A student at the University of North Dakota says it wont really affect students, but more the general public since they can drink in the student section anyway.

"I wouldn't like to see it go through because I don't mind enjoying a beer with the game, I mean it's a nice relaxant. I wouldn't like to see it go through, but I don't think it would affect me as it would affect everyone else," said Travis Zeehandelaar, a UND Student.

Representatives Larry Bellew of Minot, Charles Damschen of Hampden and Senator Charles Ebel of Lidgerwood proposed the bill. But Hodgson says the bill doesn't make any sense.

"In a facility like ours we are very proactive in our alcohol service policies and the things that we do and I think it doesn't make any sense to me and I don't know where its coming from," said Hodgson.

The penalty could be a Class B misdemeanor.

Proposed house bill 1212 states: "A person may not posses or sell and alcoholic beverage in the presence of a minor at a public or nonpublic institution of higher education sporting event of student athletes, whether on the real property under contiguous to that location of the sporting event or on the real property of the institution contiguous to that location. The Contiguity of property is not broken due to a highway or other transportation corridor."

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