The Michigan Senate passed a bill Wednesday that will allow the NHL to use a temporary 30-day liquor license to serve beer at the Winter Classic, which will take place on Jan. 1, 2013. The same bill was approved by the state's House of Representatives on May 24.
The issue of whether alcohol would be served at the game stems from a policy enforced by the city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan prohibiting the consumption of alcohol at Michigan Stadium and at all Wolverine sporting events. Michigan is a dry campus and the university has gone to great lengths to keep it that way, even refusing to allow purses into the stadium to prevent fans from smuggling in alcohol.
The passing of this bill essentially creates a special exception for a unique sporting event that has yet to be held in the hockey-centric state of Michigan.
With Michigan Stadium boasting a listed capacity of 109,901, the NHL hopes to break the world record for attendance of a professional hockey game, set in 2010 at the same stadium when the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan St. Spartans skated before 104,173 fans.
This time around, however, a sizable portion of that crowd will likely be giddy while openly sipping beer.
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