The BOT Committee passed a motion to recommend the sale of alcohol at the Penn State golf course, athletic events in suites and other controlled areas, and other non intercollegiate athletic events like concerts to be presented in front of a full board.
Barbour’s presentation highlighted methods in which alcohol would be sold. For Beaver Stadium, alcohol would be served via point of sale during special events like an NHL Winter Classic in areas like the Mount Nittany Club, private suites, and the university suite level. For venues such as Pegula or the Bryce Jordan Center, alcohol would be served via point of sale in private suites.
The ability to attract major events like an NHL Winter Classic served as one of the main components of the proposal. Barbour says talks with the NHL got far down the road, but a potential Winter Classic between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins was unable to come to fruition because of cost of winterizing Beaver Stadium and the inability to serve alcohol — a major issue with the NHL. Barbour predicts such an event would generate between $1-2 million in net revenue.
“The impetus is around hospitality and driving value around the fanbase,” Barbour said. “This would be a significant seven figure per year. It is not about the sale of alcohol. Penn State simply wouldn’t attract the big events such as a Winter Classic without the sale of alcohol.”
Beaver Stadium would remain strictly point of sale, and would serve at events that occur when students aren’t in school (ie. Winter break, spring break, etc.)
Barbour said that her target market with this initiative would not be students. She reiterated that the service of alcohol would be regulated by university policy. Regulations of both underage drinking and over-served patrons will be used, as would resources that promote safe drinking.
Net revenues from the sale of alcohol would be split between Student Affairs and Intercollegiate Athletics.
The full board will review this topic at tomorrow’s meeting.