On Sept. 14, Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium began serving alcohol to fans at the Stony Brook vs. Wagner College football game. In a statement on Sept. 5, Stony Brook Athletics announced its plan to sell alcohol at upcoming NCAA football and basketball games. They also announced a lengthy list of policies that will be put in place to restrict students over the age of 21 when purchasing alcohol. They are issued a wristband to wear, which allows them to purchase a maximum of two drinks at one time per student ID. In addition, students cannot consume alcoholic beverages in the student seating areas. Alcohol sales will also stop at the end of the third quarter for football and women’s basketball games, and at the closing of the second-half timeout for men’s basketball. Selling alcohol at college games had proven benefits for other colleges, and Stony Brook can benefit from alcohol sales as well.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) began to allow the selling of alcoholic beverages for all NCAA colleges in the 2018-2019 season after seeing positive results from their test run two years ago. In the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons, the NCAA concluded that selling alcohol reduced the amount of unruly behavior at sports games by large margins. The University of Maryland conducted their own study as well, and they recorded decreasing numbers of ejections throughout the time of alcohol sales. In the 2014-2015 season, before alcohol was sold, there were 61 drinking-related ejections at football games. When they began selling alcohol in the 2015-2016 season, there were only 18 ejections, and the year after, the number decreased further to 12 ejections. West Virginia University reported a 35% decrease in alcohol-related incidents on game days after they began selling alcohol in the stadium. The legal selling of alcoholic beverages at games reduces the chances of alcohol-related incidents.
Schools can also profit from the selling of alcohol at sporting events. According to an analysis done by Forbes, schools that sell alcohol can expect to see 22% of the revenue. The probability of students and other spectators going to sports bars for games could lessen after being able to purchase alcohol at the stadium itself. This can increase both game attendance and the revenue being made at each game. This additional revenue can go towards further enhancing game day experiences.
Overall, Stony Brook’s decision to sell alcohol at games can be a great improvement for the Athletics department. It will allow the school to profit while enhancing the student experience at sporting events.