For Immediate Release
October 15, 2019
Michigan Liquor Control Commission Ruling Temporarily
Impacts Alcohol Sales at Upcoming Van Andel Arena Events
Grand Rapids — Due to an incident that occurred at Van Andel Arena in March of this year, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has suspended the liquor license held by SMG Food and Beverage, the food and beverage provider for the arena, for four Grand Rapids Griffins hockey games on October 23, 25, 26 and 30, 2019. No alcoholic beverages will be sold in the arena during these games and no alcohol may be served or consumed in the arena suites or hospitality areas. Consistent with policies already in place, no alcoholic beverages may be brought into the arena at any time.
We regret the impact that this ruling may have on the Griffins and their loyal fans.
The Van Andel Arena has strict policies in place related to liquor sales and rigorous training programs for all employees and volunteers. However, during a Grand Rapids Police Department operation at a Grand Rapids Griffins game on March 8, 2019, concessions staff and volunteers checked but failed to validate the vertical licenses of four patrons attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages, and those patrons were served.
We are very disappointed that there was a breakdown in procedures that led to these penalties. This is certainly not the norm. We have an exceptional track record of providing quality service by thousands of employees to more than 16 million patrons over the past 23 years. There have been no further incidents since this occurrence.
We take the MLCC rules and regulations very seriously. We work closely with local law enforcement and the MLCC to ensure alcohol policies are enforced to the highest standards.
Since learning of these violations, we immediately implemented enhanced policies to safeguard against this happening again in the future. The safety and enjoyment of our guests is, and will continue to be, our first priority.