Penn State University: Penn State Athletics presents Beaver Stadium alcohol plan to trustees committee

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On Monday, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics (ICA) presented to the Penn State Board of Trustee’s Committee on Legal and Compliance a proposal to sell alcohol to the general public at Beaver Stadium. As had been previously acknowledged, the expansion of the sale of alcohol in Beaver Stadium has been under consideration and the University and ICA have been putting plans in place for this possibility. The University will still need to secure full Board of Trustees and other necessary approvals before proceeding. 

Penn State Athletics is constantly looking for ways to provide additional amenities to fans to improve the game day experience. The 2021 Beaver Stadium Study suggested there was an ever-growing need to improve fan experience and amenities in a historical venue such as Beaver Stadium with one of those being the addition of the sale of alcohol in stadium. Revenue generated from the sale of alcohol will be utilized on deferred maintenance projects at Beaver Stadium.

Intercollegiate Athletics has made alcohol available for purchase in the club and suites areas at Beaver Stadium and Pegula Ice Arena since 2016, while the Bryce Jordan Center has been selling alcohol at select external events since 2015, which has proven safe and successful.

ICA has partnered with OVG Hospitality Group to explore establishing, implementing, and maintaining a responsible alcohol beverage plan at football games. The alcohol beverage plan includes certified and trained vendors, ID monitoring and vendor locations independent from concessions stands.

All patrons 21 and older who purchase alcohol will be required to show proper identification to obtain a wristband. Further, all IDs will be scanned to confirm they are legitimate. All vendors and employees will have completed RAMP (Responsible Alcohol Management Program) training and certification. This approach means every person purchasing alcohol will be ID’d, and that a maximum of two beverages per person can be purchased at any one time. Employees who undergo training will also learn alcohol absorption rate factors and intervention techniques to help identify patrons who may need assistance. In addition, all athletics and game day staff will be asked to report any inappropriate behavior or violations immediately.

Various studies at institutions around the country have shown controlled alcohol sales have contributed to a decrease in alcohol-related incidents at venues that have instituted alcohol sales. Service will conclude at the end of the third quarter, and all alcohol will remain in controlled areas for ICA events.

The University currently holds licenses to serve alcoholic beverages at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, Beaver Stadium, Pegula Ice Arena, the Penn State Golf Courses and the Bryce Jordan Center.

If approved, Penn State would join eight other current Big Ten schools successfully sell beer and/or wine in public areas at its home football games and approximately half of the schools in Power 5 conferences selling beer and/or wine at their home football games this fall. Experiences at other universities have informed the University’s proposed plan for Board of Trustee consideration.

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