There is always the ethical question asked whether or not collegiate stadiums should sell alcohol in their venue. College is the time where students seemingly destroy their liver with alcohol at every opportunity. Many sports professionals feel that adding access to alcohol in collegiate sporting facilities may have cause for concern.
The dangerous levels of binge drinking college students already display may increase with easier access to alcohol.
However, this isn’t stopping Rutgers University from planning to expand its alcohol sales inside their facilities.
Now if you have ever been to a Rutgers football game you will know it’s impossible to get an alcoholic beverage unless you are inside the Audi Club. However, during the 2019 season, Rutgers will open up its alcohol policy and start to serve the general public. The venues that will serve the public include HighPoint.com Stadium, Rutgers Athletic Center, and Yurcak Field.
Baseball and softball games are also included in the alcohol expansion as well.
Some might argue that allowing easier access to alcohol for fans might increase stadium-related incidents. However, since Ohio State started to provide alcohol in a controlled environment statistics have shown that it has done nothing but benefit their programs. The Columbus Dispatch reported that there were 103 ejections alone in 2015 during Ohio State events.
However, since selling alcohol to the public they have seen a significant decrease in drinking-related incidents. In 2017 there were only 24 ejections at Ohio State events due to providing alcohol in a controlled environment.
In a nj.com report, the Rutgers police department supports the plan to sell alcoholic beverages at events. Rutgers University Chief of Police Kenneth Cop stated: “Data from peer institutions shows a correlation between a decrease in alcohol-related incidents when a venue provides a controlled environment for beer and wine sales.”
Cop continued to assure the public and said, “The RUPD will continue to be vigorous in working with Rutgers Athletics to promote public safety at athletic events and expects attendees to respect all applicable laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable game day experience.”
Not only does allowing alcohol to be sold in venues decrease drinking-related incidents it also increases revenue for the school. Trib Live reported that Ohio State reached 1.35 million in alcohol sales just this past season. That would be a 16 percent increase since 2016. Purdue University also noticed an increase in revenue due to its new alcohol policy.
The Journal & Courier stated that since Purdue allowed the selling of alcohol inside their stadium their net revenue has nearly doubled since 2017. In 2017 Purdue collected $567,778 in just beer and wine sales. In 2018 that number would increase to $1,063,632.
The benefits seem to heavily outweigh any negatives at this point for Rutgers. Allowing their venues to sell alcohol can also increase the number of people who attend games. And the revenue collected can go to student scholarships or other projects that work to grow Rutgers programs.
However, Rutgers will take heavy precaution when proceeding with their new policy. For starters during Rutgers events, you will only be allowed to purchase two drinks at a time to promote safe drinking habits. Rutgers staff as well will also have to go through some training to implement their plan. Their event staff will have to complete alcohol management training. And for security, they will help monitor customers when purchasing a beverage. Rutgers will also include alcohol-free zones in HighPoint.com Stadium and the RAC for fans that might be opposed to alcohol consumption.
It’s clear that when collegiate facilities sell alcohol in a controlled setting that it has an overall positive impact on programs. It would not be surprising to see other schools in the near future jump on board with Rutgers as well.