So, you’re at your tailgate. You like a beer or wine with your hot dogs, burgers, steaks, pork tenderloins or whatever you’re cooking. You have your cooler(s) filled with ice and the Miller Lite (you poor things), Coors, Blue Moon (I’ll be right over), Corona, Stella, or Bud. Maybe you’re more daring and appreciate the imports and microbrews: Fat Tire, Flying Fish, Heineken, Leinie.
And as you walk to the stadium, carrying that one last brew to consume on the way in, you know that it’s the last beer you’ll have til the game is over. Unless you have seats in the Audi Club, the only place at High Point Solutions Stadium where you can buy liquor. And that is what is known as “premium seating” and your “seat gift” starts at $3,000. Pretty expensive beer.
Why? Why not allow of-age adults to purchase alcohol in the Stadium? Or, for that matter, the RAC? Because it’s a college venue? HAH!
If Rutgers decided to sell beer (or wine) in the stadium, they would join a growing list of schools that do just that. And for a nice profit.
Texas - where everything is a bit bigger - brought in well over $2 million in alcohol sales. And they are, indeed, number one.
Texas Longhorns fans are No. 1 in a WSJ analysis of beer sales in college football https://t.co/AbVSXUV82Y— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 8, 2017
From that Wall Street Journal story:
In their six home football games, Texas fans drank 104,106 bottles of Miller Lite alone. They also required 99,865 Coors Lights, 38,174 Bud Lights and 35,629 Blue Moons—but only 89 cans of Budweiser. By the end of the season, Texas had sold $5.26 in alcohol for every fan in attendance.
Their choice of beers seems a bit stilted, but Texas is showing why a growing number of schools are allowing beer sales. Even the NCAA, which traditionally has not allowed alcohol sales at championship events, permitted beer sales at both the College World Series and the Women’s CWS last year. And again that question, why?
"Research is showing us it has a tendency to cut down on binge drinking before people enter the stadium," said Ron Prettyman, the NCAA's managing director of championships and alliances. "It's been really, really positive to see the lack of issues.
"As an administrator at a university for 33 years, I was adamantly against [alcohol sales]. But as I worked through the tailgate area, [binge drinking] is something that caught my eye."
If you know you can grab a beer inside the stadium, you don’t need to get tuned up in the parking lot. That, though, would not help with students - brace yourself - drinking illegally at tailgates. Hard to believe, right?
With alcohol comes a whole set of issues, such as security: extra police, monitoring sales, limiting sales. All things that are normally done now at other venues that sell booze. Point is, if you think it would help the bottom line - or add to the fan experience - there are ways of making it work.
Currently only Minnesota and Maryland in the Big Ten allow alcohol sales to the general public. Others, like Rutgers and Penn State, permit sales in premium seating areas. Four other Big Ten schools permit alcohol sales in premium seating areas. The other six do not allow alcohol sales.
Want to see where you can buy a beer at a college stadium? Click here.
Should Rutgers be among that group? Let’s hear your thoughts in the Comments section.