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N.D. Bill Would Ban Alcohol at College Sporting Events

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A bill introduced in North Dakota would ban alcohol use and possession at college sports events where minors are present, the Associated Press reported Jan. 14.

Rep. Chuck Damschen (R-Hampden) of the N.D. House of Representatives put the proposal forward to cut down on underage drinking. If the bill passed, alcohol would be prohibited in stadiums, arenas, and at tailgate parties where minors are present.

The bill would apply even when events were not held on property belonging to colleges or university, such as tailgate parties held in the parking lot of the city-owned Fargodome, which hosts North Dakota State University (NDSU) football games.

Those who oppose the proposal say it is unnecessary. For example, NDSU does not serve alcohol in its own arenas, and officials said that use of alcohol at tailgate parties at the Fargodome is monitored. Minors in attendance must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Jody Hodgson, the general manager of the Ralph Engelstad Arena, where University of North Dakota hockey teams play, said, “We seek to promote the responsible alcohol consumption initiatives utilized by members of our industry and don’t feel the changes proposed by the sponsors of the bill are necessary.”

The state’s Board of Higher Education said it would not support or oppose the proposed bill.

“I thought this is a chance for everybody who says that they care about this problem to get on board and support a step in at least getting the discussion going,” said Damschen of his proposal.

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