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South Dakota universities can begin selling more alcohol at athletic events this year

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Black Hills State wins Swarm Day game (copy)

Fans enjoy a break in the action during Black Hills State’s 51-48 comeback win over Adams State in a Sept. 25, 2021 RMAC football game at Lyle Hare Stadium in Spearfish.

The South Dakota Board of Regents approved an expanded alcohol sales policy Thursday, which will "extend the sale of alcoholic beverages into general admission areas of performing arts and athletic events."

The policy was approved unanimously at the Regents' June meeting at the University of South Dakota.

Once in effect at the start of the 2022-23 school year, the six universities governed by the South Dakota Board of Regents are permitted (yet not required) to allow alcohol sales at performing arts and athletic events. The universities include:

  • South Dakota Mines
  • Northern State University
  • Black Hills State
  • University of South Dakota
  • South Dakota State University
  • Dakota State University 

"This change came from a request from South Dakota public university students," said BOR Executive Director Dr. Brian Maher. "We're seeing a move toward general admission alcohol sales at collegiate events across the country; it seemed like a good time to revisit South Dakota's policy as well."

Under the previous policy, alcohol sales were limited to select box seats and loge areas. According to a release by the Regents, the effort to expand alcohol sales to general admission areas was student-run after the South Dakota Student Federation, which has representatives from each of the college's student governments, sent a letter to the Board of Regents urging a change to the policy.

Under the policy, all universities who choose to facilitate alcohol sales at performing arts and athletic events need to define a start and end time for alcohol sales, need at least one designated alcohol-free zone and must keep alcohol sales separate from all other concessions.

The release continued that anyone who is engaged in selling alcohol is required to receive training to recognize fake IDs, prevent service to minors, identify signs of intoxication, and how to handle disorderly customers. 

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