Written by: Neil Frawley
It’s fall, and it’s Saturday. You wake up, turn on SportsCenter, open up the fridge and crack open what will be the first of countless beers. You sit down on the couch, and you lean over to the person next to you and you say to them, “Happy game day!” and you clink your beer of choice.
Beer, tailgating and football is one of the most American combinations there is in our nation. Before the game, beer pours like a golden, sudsy waterfall. However, once the games begin, there’s not a drop to be found.
Well, not for most universities at least. Some universities do allow sales of alcohol at their stadiums, but the NCAA doesn’t allow sales at on-campus stadiums. This prohibits places such as the VSU PE Complex and Billy Grant Stadium from selling alcohol.
The rule technically doesn’t apply to Bazemore-Hyder Stadium because it’s not an on-campus stadium, however, it is owned by the Valdosta Board of Education which prevents alcohol sales. On one hand I think it is good because it is a high school stadium too, and I completely agree that it would be in great distaste to place beer advertisements in the stadium.
But, at the same time, it isn’t just a high school venue, and on Saturdays when VSU is hosting games I think VSU fans with proof of age would enjoy watching the game while also enjoying a beer.
You might think that if beer was sold at games it might cost more than what students would be willing to pay, but I don’t think it would completely discourage students as well as parents and alumni from spending the higher prices.
It would work the way sales at movie theaters work, where drink and snack prices are higher than just about anywhere else, not because that’s how much the theater needs to sell it for but because it’s the only place patrons at the venue can get what they want.
If VSU could pull about 6,000 fans per game, I think there would be a potential to make some money. As much as West Virginia’s $520,000 they made in their first season? Probably not, but I think there is money to be made, and I think it could help pay for things at VSU.
Ultimately, it would be tough for the school board to allow alcohol to be sold in a stadium that is shared by a high school, and unless VSU was absolutely sure it could turn a profit high enough to justify the added security and potential violence that might ensue, it is highly unlikely that Bazemore-Hyder stadium would ever allow it. But I think it’s interesting to consider what the benefits might be, especially seeing other universities make the switch and find success doing so.