- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The state Board of Regents has given preliminary approval to rules governing the sale of beer and wine at special events hosted at South Dakota’s public university campuses, a board spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The policy allows sales but doesn’t require them, specifies that beer and wine access must be controlled and restricts the beverage sales during student athletic events to those in premium seating. After giving initial approval to the plan Wednesday, a final decision is expected at the board’s June meeting, spokeswoman Janelle Toman said.

The move to govern the sales comes after a measure allowing them during sporting events, artistic performances, fundraisers, conferences and other occasions passed during the 2016 legislative session.

Past state law didn’t ban serving alcohol, but on-campus sales were prohibited. The new board rules under consideration would require the president of a university to approve events during which beer and wine could be sold by a vendor.

Events would require a security plan, and food would have to be served. And the rules would require reporting to the Board of Regents.

Sales would also have to be approved by local municipalities. Supporters have said the changes are narrow and will make the school facilities more attractive venues for outside groups to book for conferences or other events.

Allowing beer and wine sales will hopefully spur more visitors, increase tax revenues and add amenities to attract workers to Brookings, home of South Dakota State University, said Mayor Tim Reed. They would also help the community, since the city has put funding into campus facilities such as a performing arts center, he said.

“It made a lot of sense for the community as a whole just because of the activities that happen up on campus,” Reed said.

Outgoing SDSU President David Chicoine has said the sale of alcohol could help campus venues as well as the school’s fundraising abilities. The plan could also allow the university to better promote premium seating at the new $65 million Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.

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