UPDATE: WVU to Have Limited Beer Sales at Basketball Games

By: Brooks Jarosz, The Associated Press Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 10/4/12 @ 3 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia University will offer limited beer sales at its men's basketball games this season.

WVU athletic director Oliver Luck said Thursday that sales will be offered in the Coliseum's Statler Club Lounge area. No beer sales will be conducted in the general concession and seating areas, and beer won't be permitted outside the club lounge area.

Patrons will be required to show identification and be limited to two beers per purchase. Sales will start 90 minutes before tipoff and conclude at the end of halftime.

Luck says controlled beer sales at football games have gone well and enabled the university to look at other licensed venues to offer the same service. He calls the Statler Club area a "suitable environment" for beer sales because it's restricted to club patrons.

UPDATE 2/24/12 @ 10:35 a.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Adding beer sales and requiring West Virginia University football fans to stay put throughout games is translating to stronger concession sales.

Industrial engineering student Richard Woody told the Board of Governors on Friday that sales were up 84 percent overall from the previous season. Food sales were up 60 percent. He didn't have dollar amounts.

Athletic Director Oliver Luck and WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts declare the first season of beer sales a success, along with the end of the so-called pass-out policy.

Roberts says police calls and arrests across Morgantown on game days were all down from the previous season.

He says Morgantown had fewer arrests for the whole season than the 149 arrests that authorities made at one game between Alabama and Louisiana State.

UPDATE 2/16/12 @ 10:30 a.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia University Board of Governors will hear about the first season of beer sales at Mountaineer Field.

Athletic Director Oliver Luck is attending its Feb. 24 meeting in Morgantown to provide a report the board requested last year when it approved the sales.

The Associated Press says it's unclear whether any vote will be taken.

WVU will join the Big 12 conference in July, and Luck says it has no rules or regulations regarding beer sales. He said earlier this week that WVU plans to continue what it's doing, as long as the board gives its blessing.

WVU made nearly $520,000 on the beer sales last year.

Luck has estimated that figure could reach as much as $1.2 million, depending on weather, attendance and team performance.

UPDATE 9/8/11 @ 9 a.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.VA. (AP) -- Beer sales at West Virginia University football games are a hit with fans.

WVU netted more than $75,000 from the first round of beer sales during the Mountaineers' season opener against Marshall on Sunday.

Beer was the most popular beverage sold by vendors at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The university says fans bought 21,811 bottles of beer, 18,803 bottles of water, 2,906 bottles of soda and 8,908 cups of frozen lemonade from vendors.

WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts says unruly fan behavior didn't increase, or decrease, with beer sales.

Excluding beer, concessions sales were a record $548,000.

WVU's Board of Governors voted in June to allow concession operator Sodexo to sell beer up until the halfway point of the third quarter.

UPDATE 9/5/11 @ 11:40 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Before everyone had to clear the bleachers, it was a packed house and this year something new as thousands had beer bottles in hand inside the stadium.

It's a decision that has brought about controversy and mixed feelings.

WVU officials have never provided an official estimate of what beer sales would generate during an entire season for the university, but it's believe to range between $500,000 and $2.5 million.

The success from Sunday's Friends of Coal Bowl still isn't tallied up yet, but the sales were easy to see.

The rowdy party outside is now coming in as fans paid up to drink up.

"That's what we're here for BBQ, beer and football," Gregory Richardson said. "People are already pretty well toasted when they go in, but now you've got beer the whole time -- it could get a little rowdy."

It was rowdy enough to have some fans escorted out of Mountaineer Field by police.

As for everyone else, they had to stay packed inside after new WVU say no one gets out once you're in the gate, including halftime.

If fans did leave, they weren't allowed back.

"If anything it [beer] can be controlled a little bit better," U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said. "It's better than just coming outside and gorging yourself and just running in and running back, but we'll see."

However, not everyone was on board with the beer sales.

Fans experienced a crowded concourse, long lines and had to shell out between $7 and $9 to crack open a cold one.

"Just the people who decided doing this -- maybe they should come experience it," Kelly Kerns said. "This has turned into a real logjam, and it's really taken people by surprise, and the elderly have stumbled over and into these railings."

Only two drinks were sold to fans at one time, and by the middle of the third quarter, vendors stopped serving and packed up.

"Not many people's going to drink enough to get really drunk," Marguerite Brown said. "It's not a good example to set for children -- it really isn't."

Not everything went according to plan, though, with the outbreak of severe weather.

The stadium was evacuated and dozens of fans returned to their cars, eating and drinking up in the parking lot while they waited for the storms to pass.

Total beer sales from inside Mountaineer Field are still being added up.

That should be released later this week along with any problems security officials faced during Sunday's long game.

UPDATE 8/26/11 @ 1:18 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - New details about beer sales at WVU football games have been released.

Fans will pay $7 for Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Yuengling at West Virginia University football games this fall, but expect to shell out $8 for Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Athletic officials and the concession operator detailed the offerings and pricings Thursday for the 16-ounce plastic bottles that will be sold at Mountaineer Field for the first time this year.

Morgantown Brewing Co. doesn't have plastic bottling capability, so its $9 craft beers - Old Morgantown Amber Ale and Zack Morgan's Pale Ale - will come in 20-ounce cups.

WVU's 25-keg order for the first game is by far its biggest.

Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are the other suppliers. They'll also become football sponsors.

The season begins Sept. 4 against Marshall.

UPDATE 8/18/11
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- WVU Athletic Director, Oliver Luck says they are pleased to offer Mountaineer football fans the option to purchase beer at our concession stands.

Luck said during a press conference Thursday morning that three different brands of beer will be for sale; this includes a local brewer. Beer will be priced at $7, $8 and $9.

Beer will be sold at 51 different locations throughout the stadium. Fans of legal age may not purchase no more than two beers in plastic bottles at once.

Sodexo will train 500 stadium employees in responsible beer sales. The policy will require ID to be shown before sales. No ID, means no sale. Luck also announced that no beer will be sold after the 7:30 mark in the 3rd quarter.

Luckl also said there will be no sales in the student section. Students of age will have to walk to the concession stands in other parts of the stadium.

These new policies will coincide with the new no smoking and no re-entry rules put in place earlier this year.

WVU also introduced its ‘High Five Rules’ campaign Thursday.

“The High Five Rules” are:

  • No excessive drinking – intoxicated fans are not allowed inside or outside the stadium.
  • No foul or abusive language.
  • No smoking in the seating or concourse areas.
  • No throwing stuff (anything) onto the field.
  • No ignoring of the instructions of Event/Security personnel.

    “We don’t want to lose any of the raucous, home-field advantage that we have because this is a hard place to play,” said Athletic Director Oliver Luck. “At the same time, we’ve got opposing fans who travel to WVU, and we want them to leave Morgantown with a good impression of the University, the city, the state and of our fan base. We also want our fans -- from kids to grandparents -- to enjoy the game.”

    Fans will see signs posted inside the football stadium for the “High Five Rules of the Game,” which detail what will not be considered acceptable on a game day.

    “Our goal at the stadium is fun and enjoyable time but the key is safety,” said WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts. “This all goes back to behavior; if people are respectful and follow the ‘High Five Rules of the Game,’ they will have a great time and experience no interaction with security.”

    “The ‘High Five’ campaign will help, because it’s going to try to steer fans in the right direction of being extremely passionate and loyal, but avoiding the profanity and other inappropriate behavior,” said Mountaineer Maniacs Director Steve Staffileno.

    WVU Athletics will have courtesy patrols walking through tailgating areas, and University Police officers will continue to patrol the tailgating areas. Offenders of these rules will be handed a small card with the rules.

    Roberts said fans who are obviously intoxicated will not be allowed to enter the stadium. In addition, fans who try to bring in contraband to the stadium will face ejection.

    “Fans need to keep in mind that it’s a sporting event, and that it’s entertainment. It’s not worth getting a criminal record for,” Roberts said. “We’ve got to make sure that it’s safe for everyone. The good thing about the ‘High Five Rules of the Game’ campaign is that it will allow for all of that to happen.”

    UPDATE 6/3/11
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Mountaineer football fans will be able to buy beer at games this fall.

    West Virginia University's Board of Governors on Friday approved Athletic Director Oliver Luck's plan to allow concession operator Sodexo to sell beer at Mountaineer Field starting this fall.

    Sales would be limited to two per patron, and there would be no hawkers in the stands. Sales would end halfway through the third quarter.

    Luck says he also will end a policy that allows fans to leave during day games, drink heavily and return to the stadium.

    Luck says the plan will help control drinking and improve the fan experience.

    He says 36 NCAA Division I schools sell alcohol in some capacity.

    WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts says binge drinking needs to be controlled to improve civility.

    UPDATE 5/17/11
    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- A majority of public comments submitted to West Virginia University over the proposed sale of beer at athletic events oppose the plan.

    The WVU Board of Governors posted all 326 comments on its website Monday. The 30-day public comment period for the proposed plan closed Friday.

    Media outlets report some opponents threaten to stop going to football games if the proposal is approved.

    Athletic director Oliver Luck has said beer sales could generate $500,000 to $1.2 million a season depending on the weather, attendance and team performance. But money wasn't his main motivation in proposing them. Luck says he's trying to gain control over the drinking that already goes on to create a more civil atmosphere.

    The Board of Governors will discuss the proposal June 3 in Charleston.

    UPDATE 4/14/11
    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia University athletic director Oliver Luck says beer sales at football games could generate $500,000 to $1.2 million in revenue, but making money isn't his main concern.

    Luck said Thursday his goal is to create a more civil, family-friendly atmosphere at Mountaineer Field by taking more control over the drinking that goes on.

    The Board of Governors is taking comments about Luck's plan to have the stadium concessionaire, Sodexo, sell beer inside the stadium.

    Luck also plans to stop letting fans leave games and re-enter later, with an eye to curbing halftime binge drinking.

    He says all of WVU's Big East counterparts are already selling beer in some capacity without any problems. Louisville even sells hard liquor.

    Few stadiums - and none in the Big East - allow re-entry.

    UPDATE 4/13/11
    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- A proposal to let West Virginia University sell beer at Mountaineer football games is now up for public comment on the Board of Governors' website.

    Athletic director Oliver Luck wants the board to consider allowing controlled sales at Mountaineer football games.

    At the same time, he's thinking about banning a re-entry practice that lets fans drink in parking lots, then return to the stadium drunk and boisterous.

    Luck believes the policy changes would improve fan behavior. It would also help generate revenue for athletics.

    Luck said many college stadiums, including all of WVU's Big East counterparts, are selling beer in some capacity.

    Beer has never been sold for general consumption at Mountaineer Field. However, it's been available in the private, leased suites since 1994.

    Click on the link below to weigh in on the University's proposal.

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va (AP) -- Good news for suds lovers: West Virginia University is considering the possibility of selling beer at some sports events.

    Board of Governors Chairwoman Carolyn Long said Friday the WVU athletic department wants to revise board policies to allow what it calls "controlled" beer sales.

    Details of the policy will be available on the board's website sometime next week and subject to a 30-day comment period.

    It wasn't immediately clear which sports and venues would be affected.

    Long says it's one of several changes the athletic department is considering for game-day operations.

    Others will center on improving security, fan behavior and public safety at Milan Puskar Stadium.

    Those will include revisions for how people leave and re-enter the stadium. The athletic department would also move smoking areas outside the concourse.

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