A pilot program this fall will allow fans to be served beer and wine at Indiana University football games. Fans 21 and over will be able to purchase beer and wine from a third-party vendor to be selected through the university procurement process.
"Our main goals with this initiative are to enhance the gameday experience for our fans and reduce alcohol-related incidents in and around the stadium," said IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass. "While there will be some comparatively modest revenue generated by these sales, that is not the primary purpose of this program. Ten percent of our net beer and wine public sales revenues will be given to campus for alcohol safety programming."
IU commissioned Wasserman to study if fans wanted beer and wine sales, and they examined over 50 other schools that do sell alcohol at games, which found offering alcohol improved the gameday experience and even increased attendance at some schools’ sporting events. Two found examples were Ohio State University reported a 65 percent drop in alcohol-related incidents the first year alcohol was served to the general public and West Virginia reported a 35 percent drop.
The program would require IU’s vendor to ensure purchasers have ID’s checked, maintain a 2-drink limit during each purchase and stop sales at the end of the third quarter. IU Athletics is also forming a taskforce to supervise the beer and wine service at Memorial Stadium. The taskforce will select the vendor, determine alcohol safety programming, evaluate the test pilot program and recommend it be continued/adjusted and whether expansion to other venues is appropriate. The members of the task force will be: Vice Provost and Dean of Students Dave O’Guinn; Associate Vice President and Superintendent for Public Safety Ben Hunter; Associate General Counsel James Nussbaum; and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration and External Relations Stephen Harper.
Currently, five other Big Ten schools serve alcohol at sporting events: Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, Minnesota and Maryland. Alcohol is already served at IU Auditorium events.