BLOOMINGTON, Indiana - Fans over 21 attending football games at Memorial Stadium this fall will be able to enjoy beer and wine to enhance the IU Football gameday experience.
Pursuant to a pilot program recommended by the consulting firm Wasserman and consistent with the University’s Service of Alcohol Policy, beer and wine will be available for purchase by all football game attendees over 21 through a third-party vendor to be selected through the University procurement process.
“Our main goals with this initiative are to enhance the gameday experience for our fans and reduce alcohol-related incidents in and around the stadium,” said IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass. “While there will be some comparatively modest revenue generated by these sales, that is not the primary purpose of this program. Ten percent of our net beer and wine public sales revenues will be given to campus for alcohol safety programming.”
In considering this move, Indiana University Athletics commissioned Wasserman to study the desirability of introducing beer and wine sales at its home football games. In examining the more than 50 other schools that sell alcohol to the general public at their stadiums, the study found that its introduction resulted in improved game-day experience and attendance (with overall attendance at sporting events on the decline nationally, the introduction of alcohol sales has reversed that trend at numerous schools); and a reduction in alcohol-related incidents and safety issues in the stadium (as an example, Ohio State University reported a 65 percent drop in alcohol-related incidents the first year it served alcohol to the general public, while West Virginia reported a 35 percent decline).
As part of the pilot program and to help ensure responsible behavior from fans, IU’s vendor will be required to ensure beer and wine purchasers have their identification checked, maintain a two-drink limit during each individual purchase, and cease sales at the end of the third quarter. IU Athletics will also work closely with IU’s Superintendent of Public Safety, who has also endorsed the pilot program, to ensure a safe environment at Memorial Stadium.
IU Athletics is establishing a task force to oversee the service of beer and wine this fall at Memorial Stadium which will address outstanding issues such as: appropriately consulting University procurement officials on drafting the RFP and selecting the vendor; determining where to direct the campus share for alcohol safety programming; evaluating the test pilot program and recommending whether it be continued and/or adjusted; whether to expand the program to other venues; and the like. The members of the task force will be: Vice Provost and Dean of Students Dave O’Guinn; Associate Vice President and Superintendent for Public Safety Ben Hunter; Associate General Counsel James Nussbaum; and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration and External Relations Stephen Harper.
With the adoption of the pilot program, Indiana joins a rapidly growing list of schools around the state and country publicly serving alcohol at sporting events. Five schools do so in the Big Ten: Purdue, Ohio State, Illinois, Minnesota and Maryland. Butler serves beer in Hinkle Fieldhouse. In addition, on campus, the IU Auditorium serves alcohol at its events.