Alcohol and football...two things that have gone together during the first two football games at Scheumann Stadium. This is the first year for the university to serve alcohol at football games, but similar programs are in place at other colleges including Butler University here in Indiana. While you may expect an increase of alcohol related incidents, Athletic director Beth Goetz says that this alcohol program here at Ball State aims to do just the opposite.
"We found as that as alcohol sales happen in venue, you actually see the number of alcohol incidents go down. That has to do with the potential folks may binge drink and they won't have another opportunity to purchase a beverage inside the stadium," said Goetz.
While there has not been an increase in alcohol related incidents so far, Scheumann stadium did face one problem. During Ball State’s first home game against Central Connecticut University, lines to get beer from the concession stands were long. To fix that problem stadium officials added another beer stand for the game against Western Kentucky University, increasing the number of stands from two to three. In addition, each stand also has two lines instead of just one.
"We want to be mindful of getting that opportunity for those who may want the opportunity to purchase, but also create environments and alcohol free zones for those that don't want to be as close to those kinds of beverages."
The team who put together this program set rules in place to make sure that alcohol related issues can be limited. Fans are not allowed to purchase beer after the 3rd quarter and vendors are encouraged to use their judgement in order to limit the overconsumption of alcohol by fans.
Due to the success experienced so far during the pilot program, athletic director gets says that alcohol sales will continue during basketball season. She also says that alcohol sales could continue at other sporting events outside of football and basketball and the program as a whole will be evaluated at the end of the school year.