Commission suspends Van Andel Arena’s liquor license


Van Andel Arena is in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy Experience GR

Van Andel Arena’s liquor license has been temporarily suspended.

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission suspended the license held by SMG Food and Beverage, the food and beverage provider for the arena, for the next four Grand Rapids Griffins home games: on Oct. 23, 25, 26 and 30, according to SMG today.

No alcoholic beverages will be sold in the arena during the games, and no alcohol may be served or consumed in arena suites or hospitality areas, SMG said. Consistent with policies already in place, no alcoholic beverages may be brought into the arena at any time.

During a Grand Rapids Police Department operation at a Griffins game at Van Andel Arena on March 8, there were four instances where “a vertical license (for people under 21) was checked but not validated, and the patron was served by staff or volunteers.” 

Van Andel Arena said it will continue working closely with the commission and local authorities to ensure alcohol policies are being “implemented to the highest standards.”

“Since learning of these violations, we immediately implemented enhanced policies to safeguard against this happening again in the future,” SMG said.

There have been no further incidents since this occurrence, according to SMG. Prior to this occurrence, there have been five violations in the history of the arena, last in 2011.

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