Large athletic programs throughout the country, from Texas to Maryland, have recently come to the conclusion that selling beer at their athletic events would make fans happy and also make them quite a bit of money. Now, it seems that Ohio State is looking to tip their toe into the water. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced today that the school will begin a pilot program, selling beer and wine in limited locations in suites and club seats at Ohio Stadium for next season.
Fans have been able to buy alcohol at the suite and club seat level at The Schottenstein Center since it opened, but now well-heeled fans will have that opportunity for the highest profile athletic events at the university, Saturday football games. Earlier this summer, Ohio State allowed alcohol sales at Ohio Stadium during a summer concert series, that included performances by the Rolling Stones and One Direction.
"This decision was made in consultation and with input from appropriate stakeholders, including the Athletics Council. The safety and well-being of our campus community is our first priority and the university will carefully monitor and assess the pilot program throughout the season", Smith said in the press release. Gene Smith will be speaking to local media about the policy today at 2 p.m..
The press release did not indicate a possible timeline for opening up alcohol sales to the entire stadium. As a general rule, we support selling alcohol at Ohio Stadium, as we believe it could help curb binge drinking, improve fan experience, and potentially raise a lot of money.
Either way, this policy seems like a relatively safe way for Ohio State and Ohio State concessions vendor Levy Restaurants to continue to study the impact of this policy, from a public safety, logistical and financial perspective, while also making a little more money by giving something lots of fans already want.
Seems like a win to us.