Univ. of Minnesota President Eric Kaler on Friday said that alcohol sales at the school's TCF Bank stadium “would probably be allowed should the Minnesota Vikings play there temporarily,” according to Mike Kaszuba of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. The ban on sales at college games “would be unchanged.” Kaler said that the university “was considering the issue, with the final decision on enacting separate alcohol policies for pro and college games likely headed to the Board of Regents.” The Vikings and the university are “in stepped-up negotiations to have the team play at TCF for three years should a new Vikings stadium be built at the site of the Metrodome.” Vikings VP/Stadium Operations & Public Affairs Lester Bagley said, "Beer sales are pretty much a standard in all NFL stadiums. It's a revenue stream. It's important for the fan experience." Meanwhile, talk emerged Friday of “another possible site option that would make discussions about moving to TCF moot.” Bagley and Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chair Ted Mondale said that they have “been looking at acreage just southeast of the Dome, between 11th Avenue S. and Interstate 35W.” Bagley said that the location “would be ideal but that buildings on the site might be difficult to relocate” (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/28). In Minneapolis, Kevin Duchschere noted the new site would help the team “save the cost, estimated at $48 million, of having to play" at TCF Bank Stadium for up to three seasons. Bagley: “It would be ideal to build a stadium next door and play in the Dome, like many teams do” (STARTRIBUNE.com, 1/27).
Centerplate has signed a deal with Farm Aid to benefit the group’s food network at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. The partnership calls for Centerplate, the food provider at Lucas Oil Stadium, to donate $2 for every bowl of red beef chili, green pork chili and vegetarian white bean chili it sells Sunday at general concession stands and in the suites. The price is $8 for a bowl of chili. The three specialty dishes are being made with ingredients sustainably produced by family-owned farms in Indiana. Homegrown is the division of Farm Aid connecting Centerplate with farmers to obtain the authentic ingredients. The three farms involved with the effort will be mentioned by name on signs at two portable stands on the main concourse, branded with the Homegrown label. To recognize the Centerplate-Farm Aid partnership, singer John Mellencamp, a Farm Aid board member and one of the group’s three co-founders, is expected to make a few television appearances to promote the program, said Centerplate CMO Bob Pascal. Mellencamp, an Indiana native, has been involved with Farm Aid since the organization was founded in '85 with annual concerts to raise awareness for the key role family farms play for feeding Americans. For Centerplate, the Super Bowl initiative falls in line with its use of locally-grown foods in other major league markets where the concessionaire operates, Pascal said.