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Barbour Recommends Selling Alcohol At Athletic Facilities

Sandy Barbour wants Penn State to consider the sale of alcohol in intercollegiate athletics facilities.

At the Legal and Compliance committee meeting, Athletic Director Sandy Barbour gave a presentation where she ultimately recommended selling alcohol at Penn State athletic facilities. Her title slide read: Request for future considerations around alcoholic beverages.

“For a variety of different factors, what we are seeking is support for acquisition of liquor licenses in order to serve and/or sell alcoholic beverages in Penn State intercollegiate athletic facilities under certain conditions,” she said.

Barbour proposed selling alcohol at Beaver Stadium for non-ICA events and at the golf course. She stressed it would only be sold in private, controlled areas and in ICA facilities for non-ICA events. She defined controlled areas as suites, hospitality areas, and clubs.

“We’d like the support of the acquisition of the appropriate licenses to sell alcoholic beverages at intercollegiate facilities at certain times,” she began. Barbour gave two reasons she was proposing the sale of alcohol. The first was fan experience and hospitality and the other was marketplace and competitiveness.

“Those engaging in private and premium seating experiences expect hospitality to include alcoholic beverage service, similar to those in comparable facilities in other markets,” she said. “We believe, because of this, we will find new revenue in the value of opportunity to purchase alcohol more so than the sale of alcohol itself.”

Right now, Minnesota is the only other school in the Big Ten that sells beer at its athletic events. However, eight of the Big Ten schools sell alcohol in controlled, private settings like she is proposing.

Student Trustee Allie Goldstein asked in May if they have the number of alcohol related incidents at the schools that sell alcohol in some capacity.

Barbour specifically cited the Winter Classic, the annual outdoor NHL game that has been tied to Beaver Stadium rumors for years, as an example of a non-ICA event at Beaver Stadium that could include alcohol sales. Because this game takes place in January, during Penn State’s winter break, it wouldn’t be a student-geared event.

She added that Penn State had gotten very far in talks with the NHL regarding the Winter Classic previously, but couldn’t go forward because of the state of Beaver Stadium.

Here’s a breakdown of the three types of alcohol sales Barbour is requesting that the board move forward with:

  • Controlled areas only (suites, hospitality areas, clubs) at ICA events
  • Point of sale at golf course (snack bar and course cart)
  • Public sale at non-ICA events (professional sports, international sports, concerts)

The committee thanked Barbour at the conclusion of her presentation and said they “look forward to looking at this further.”

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