College Athletics and the Sale of Beer

One of the most frustrating things in life is the absence of alcoholic beverages available at collegiate sporting events. However, this may be coming to an end in the near future.

The NCAA originally started banning alcoholic beverages from college sporting events all the way back in 1964. Chuck Neinas, then an administrator, banned alcohol sales at the College World Series. Fans from Omaha have been complaining ever since.

But what baffles many is why it is completely acceptable to sell beer at professional sporting events, but not at college events. This gets even more confusing when basketball seems to get a pass while football and baseball are a toss up. Moreover, there don’t appear to be out of control fans at professional sporting events.

And who are they kidding? College students simply drink at tailgates before the game and sneak it in illegally. If anything, not selling alcohol at games makes it more dangerous. Students simply drink more alcohol before heading over to the game and over consume. Don’t believe me? Just go visit your student section and you will see at least five people struggling to stay conscious.

Now the counterargument to this argument goes something like this: if people are binge drinking outside of the stadium, they will more than likely binge drink inside of the stadium since they already have their mind set on consuming a lot of liquor. While this is solid reasoning, they fail to miss the big picture. People are love to drink more than they should on gamed, so you mine as well make money off of it and keep track of how many you sell them via wristbands.

By putting in place systems to let servers know the amount of alcohol someone has purchased, they are in a better place to cut people off who are over consuming. Wristbands are the perfect answer because drunk people find them too complicated to take off and get distracted with something else.

So why not let colleges experiment and see if it works for their individual fan base and culture. Currently there are 36 football teams experimenting with serving alcohol at games experiencing mixed results. For example, Texas generated roughly $1.8 million in sales while Minnesota actually lost money.

The NCAA has started going the right direction by granting pilot programs to certain colleges around the country for a variety of sports. Its time they give up complete control and let universities decide their own fate and culture. Keep in mind, its not like the colleges are going to want out of control fans that pose both security and safety risks.

Let the boys play and let the fans drink.


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