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Photo Credit: Tom Mitsos

Van Andel Arena’s liquor license suspended for four Griffins games this month

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission suspended Van Andel Arena’s liquor license for four Grand Rapids Griffins games after it was discovered the arena served two underage patrons at a game in March, according to MLive.

The arena will not be able to sell any alcoholic beverages on Oct. 23, 25, 26 and 30. Alcohol also will not be available in any of the suites or hospitality areas.

“We strive to have practices and policies in place that negate this type of incident,” SMG Regional Manager Rich MacKeigan told MLive. “But when you’re dealing with 200 employees per event as well as the hundreds of thousands of people that come through the arena’s doors on an annual basis, we acknowledge that it’s possible. And for that reason, we continue to monitor and upgrade our practices and policies on an event-by-event basis.”

SMG is the company hired to operate the arena.

The arena paid a combined fine of $3,800 for the violations, according to MacKeigan.

He said this is Van Andel Arena’s first liquor control commission violation since 2011.

According to a statement from Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority, during a Grand Rapids Police Department operation at a Griffins game Saturday, March 9, 2019, two vertical IDs of patrons were checked but not validated, and the patrons were served alcohol.

Vertical IDs are issued to Michigan residents under the age of 21.

MacKeigan said arena staff and managers will be implementing a new ID-checking policy.

Luckily for the Griffins, the 25th is the only $2 beer night with two games coming on a Wednesday and the final game on a Saturday.