Penn State University announced Wednesday that Beaver Stadium will begin selling beer during the Nittany Lions’ upcoming game against Northwestern University.
The approval of alcohol sales was debated for several weeks before the Penn State Board of Trustees finally gave the plan the “green light” at a meeting last Friday.
According to the press release, all patrons who are 21 years of age or older will be required to show ID and will be given a wristband to purchase alcohol.
The approved plan will see beer stands sprout up across beaver stadium but away from the student sections. Customers will be allowed to purchase a maximum of two beverages at one time and all beer locations will be cashless.
The university says alcohol sales will conclude at the end of the third quarter of every game and no alcoholic beverages will be allowed to leave the stadium.
This is an enormous break from long-standing policy, but it wasn’t an easy road to get here. The Board of Trustees had mixed opinions on the matter, with five trustees voting against the plan at its Friday meeting.
Students we talked with Wednesday were more apathetic toward the decision, but generally supported it nonetheless.
Asked if he’s been waiting for this for a long time, student Luca Miraldi “I’m not 21 yet. But once I do turn 21, there’s gonna be a few games after that. So, I guess I’ll probably be looking forward to buying a few brewskis once I get in the stadium for a game.”
“I think it was gonna happen eventually,” said student Ryan Coleman. “I understand, like, the concerns of people being a little bit like unruly and that type of stuff, but it happens anyways.”
Penn State University Police and Public Safety appeared to be neither for nor against the decision, but they urged caution.
In a statement responding to the announcement, Penn State Police said: “On gamedays and every day, safety is the top priority for university police and public safety. As they have done at past home football games, Penn State Police encourage all fans in attendance at Beaver Stadium to enjoy the game and related festivities safely and responsibly.”
But those students told us they feel the decision won’t affect attendees behavior too much and that beer sales won’t deter heavy drinking before games.
“I mean, everybody gets kind of tipsy and drunk before the game anyways,” Coleman told 6 News. “I mean, I think we all know that there’s a lot of tailgates with alcohol and a lot of people go in drunk. A lot of people sneak alcohol in. So, I think it’s a pretty smart move, on the university’s part, to sell alcohol and maybe try to get some revenue off of it.”
“I know a lot of students who are already sneaking stuff into the stadiums,” Miraldi agreed. “And so, I don’t think that this is really gonna change too much rather than, you know, just allow what was already happening already.”
How beer sales will affect the stadium’s atmosphere, will have to be seen on Saturday, after the game against Northwestern.
Saturday’s game versus Northwestern is scheduled to kick-off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.