Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium, home to Stony Brook Football games. Stony Brook University announced plans to sell beer and wine during athletic events, which is being piloted at five football home games this fall. SARA RUBERG/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook Athletics announced yesterday plans to sell beer and wine at athletic events as part of a pilot program.

The announcement comes on the heels of numerous additions to the in-game experience by Stony Brook Athletics. The school recently announced a football partnership with SportsNet New York (SNY) to broadcast five football home games as well as the men’s basketball home opener versus Yale. The SNY partnership coincides with the first Stony Brook athletic event where alcohol will be sold, the football game against Wagner on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m., when the team will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary of the 2009 Big South Champions.

“This initiative is intended to enhance the fan experience while maintaining a safe and enjoyable game day atmosphere for all of our fans,” Director of Athletics, Shawn Heilbron, said in a press release. “We have worked closely with campus leadership and relied upon best practices of other schools to ensure the responsible implementation of this plan.”

CulinArt, SBU Athletics’ concessionaire, will manage the alcohol sales at both Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium and Island Federal Credit Union Arena — the only locations where alcohol will be sold. In order to purchase alcohol, a person must be 21 or over and present a valid ID for every purchase. Each person will also be issued a wristband to wear while consuming alcoholic beverages, for safety purposes and no more than two drinks will be sold to a person at one time.

Sale of alcohol will begin when the Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium and Island Federal Credit Union Arena gates open, one hour prior to the start of the games. At the conclusion of the third quarter for football and women’s basketball games and at the conclusion of the second half 12-minute media timeout at the men’s basketball games, the sale of alcoholic beverages will cease.

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The decision by Stony Brook University to sell alcoholic beverages at athletic events may come as a shock to some, especially considering the tragic events that led to the formation of Red Watch Band in 2009. Regardless, as long as the rules set by Heilbron are followed with due diligence, alcoholic beverages may lead to greater attendance at athletic games. Only time will tell how this program will turn out. 

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