LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The debate over the legalized sale of alcohol at college sporting events is being framed, in part, as a fairness issue.
Those in favor of the idea pointed out that fans in suites have access to alcohol, while fans in the seats cannot indulge.
Rep. Graham Filler, R-DeWitt, first tried to get bills passed in 2022. This session, he came back with new restrictions designed to help protect local bars on game day. Buying alcohol at Michigan State University hockey events would be limited to 25 days, basketball games would be for 50 days and football fans could score a drink for 10 days during the season.
Alcohol sales would be limited to one hour before the game, during the game and a half hour afterward.
So far, seven of the Big Ten schools have legalized alcohol sales.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has some concerns, especially with 8 p.m. football games.
“I used to look at it and thought, ‘That looks like a lot of fun,’ but in the last 15 years, especially during the time when I was prosecutor, I look at that and think, ‘That’s a recipe for disaster.’ It makes me nervous,” Whitmer said.
Still, she said she would likely sign the bill if it passes the Legislature.
“I anticipate if the bill gets to my desk one of these days, I would sign it,” she said.
But that’s not to say Whitmer doesn’t worry.
“Alcohol makes everything a little more challenging,” Whitmer said.
The first House committee hearing on the measure is scheduled for April 11.