ANN ARBOR — The University of Michigan has been cleared to serve beer and alcohol at Michigan Stadium on New Year's Day for the National Hockey League's 2013 Bridgestone Winter Classic.
On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill sponsored by state Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township, granting a special "tavern" liquor license for the NHL's Jan. 1, 2013 outdoor hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The bill allows beer, wine, and mixed drinks to be served inside the gates of the Big House, where alcohol isn't allowed to be served for Michigan football games. The special license is good for 30 consecutive days so alcohol also can be served at the stadium for festivities leading up to the game, according to a press release from Ouimet's office.
The NHL agreed to rent the stadium for the event on the condition that alcohol could be served.
"Michigan Stadium has proven to be the perfect venue for an outdoor hockey game, and the Winter Classic allows an international audience to experience Ann Arbor and the Big House," Ouimet said. "The game will help sustain our region's economy and expose the area to a whole new fan base, those in attendance and the millions more watching on television."
The nationally televised, outdoor hockey game takes place Jan. 1, 2013.