Temporary liquor ban begins for Griffins games

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The liquor lockdown at the Van Andel Arena takes effect as Grand Rapids Griffins hockey fans were unable to purchase alcoholic beverages at the game Wednesday night. 

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has suspended the liquor license held by SMG Food and Beverage, the food and beverage provider for the arena. The license is being held for hockey games on Oct. 23, 25, 26 and 30. 

The temporary suspension comes after a Grand Rapids Police Department operation at a Griffins game on March 8.

Those attending Wednesday’s game were curious to see how the ban sets true Griffins fans apart from the partiers.  

“I think it’s a great thing because really, you’re getting fans in here who care about the team, who have that drive and who aren’t interested in just coming out and getting liquored up and spilling beer all over everybody,” Griffins fan Stephanie Kokot said.  

Other longtime fans, like Marcus Littell, are still shocked that the violation occurred in the first place. 

“I’m a senior citizen and they card me every single time,” Littell said.  “So, I don’t know how this slipped by them.” 

To help the possibility of drop in sales, the Griffins are running a promotion offering discounted concessions during the dry run. 

Fans who usually enjoy a beer or two during the game told News 8 they just made sure to grab a few drinks at a nearby bar beforehand.  

“Hitting the bar first, then going to the game,” Tom Denhof said.  

Many people expect the turnout to take the biggest hit at the game Friday night.  

“My guess is the bars will be packed and the game will be less people,” Denhof said.

For more information on the ban and the policies, you can see a press release on the Van Andel website.

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