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Bill extending Super Bowl bar hours starts march

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Preparations for next year's Super Bowl include a legislative push to give football fans more time in local bars, which got a positive reception Tuesday from a Senate committee.

After this Sunday's Super Bowl in Houston on Sunday, attention will shift to Minneapolis as the 2018 host. The Senate Commerce Committee reviewed the bill that would tack on two hours of alcohol serving time for bars during four days around the event. It was lined up for potential inclusion in a broader liquor bill.

Sen. Karin Housley's bill would let Hennepin and Ramsey County bars that pay an extra licensing fee of up to $250 to remain open until 4 a.m. Housley, R-St. Marys Point, said cities in the counties would decide whether to opt in.

Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, questioned the extra cost to establishments.

"They've already achieved all of the requirements to hold that business open throughout the balance of the year," Limmer said. "Why would we hit a proprietor for a few extra dollars? I just don't understand that."

Grant Wilson, manager of licensing for Minneapolis, said the fee is meant to defray municipal security reviews and paperwork costs.

"It's important that we do keep track of them and it also helps us set what manpower we need for police and licensing officials we need on site for those events," Wilson said.

Similar bar-time extensions were done during the 2008 Republican National Convention and 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.