As reported by us on Twitter yesterday, the amendment to Policy 18 to allow beer sales at WVU sporting facilities (namely Mountaineer Field and the WVU Coliseum) was approved by the Board of Governors today by a 10-5 margin.
Here are some quick details of the plan:
- Beer will be sold only through brick and mortar concessions; no mobile sales in stands
- Last call will be midway through third quarter
- ID required for each purchase, regardless of age
- Two beer maximum per purchase
- Beer will be sold in plastic bottles without caps
- No beer vendors in WVU student section
- Extra cables being installed to improve cell phone and texting service (to report disturbances in stadium)
- Event staff and stadium police to receive extra training
Overall, it's exactly what we expected. Luck also mentioned that a minimum of $500,000 of extra revenue is expected, increasing the per capita dollars spent by nearly $8.
As we've stated before, serving beer at Mountaineer Field can be a positive for WVU, both from a monetary and behavioral standpoint.
I have long advocated that selling beer at Mountaineer Field would actually lessen rowdy fan behavior. There is very little standing in the way of a regular fan sneaking booze into the stadium. That is true now and will be true even if beer sales are approved by the Board of Governors. What might change, however, is beer sales acting as a deterrent to some from taking advantage of that smuggling opportunity. Speaking from my own point of view, I can say I would be less likely to bring liquor into the stadium -- which I have done before -- if I know I can purchase beer instead. It saves a headache, both figuratively and literally (because brown liquor does that to you).
The fans that want to increase their level of intoxication will do so regardless of WVU alcohol policy. No fan, regularly 100% sober at games, is going to decide to all of a sudden drink 10 beers because they're now being sold. That type of fan was drinking that much to begin with and beer wasn't even being sold. While that fan will continue to do that, there may be a fan or two who, instead of the much more potent smuggled liquor will instead turn to beer and not become so unruly. He (or she) might feel less compelled to "get a running start" in the parking lot, knowing they can continue a small buzz throughout the game.
The Board has approved this measure with the idea to revisit it on a year-to-year basis. If what I said above doesn't happen and behavior worsens significantly, then steps will be taken to correct that issue.
But, for now, Mountaineer Field should be a whole lot of fun.