For many years, alcohol sales at a college football game were not allowed. The general rule of thumb for most schools was no alcohol at all in the stadium. However, a few universities have changed rules and slowly begun to phase beer and wine sales into concession stands, to the delight of many fans.
In 2015, Ross-Ade Stadium introduced beer and wine sales to a select few season ticket holders and VIP students who were over the age of 21 years. In 2017, the stadium took a new step forward and introduced beer and wine throughout the stadium, in concession stands and even stand-alone beer vendors.
Financially, the benefits were seen almost instantly. In 2017, the sales of beer and wine surmounted $388,000. In 2018, alcohol sales jumped wildly higher. Sales toppled over $1 million, which was due in part to prime time games which Purdue hosted three of, including then-No. 2 Ohio State.
Ross-Ade Stadium even sells Purdue branded beer — Boiler Gold and Boiler Black — through a partnership with People’s Brewing Company.
Purdue was one of the first schools in the Big Ten to sell alcohol stadium-wide, and it proved successful. They were quickly followed by others; Ohio State, Maryland and Minnesota were the next schools in the Big Ten Conference that permitted the stadium-wide alcohol sales. A few other Big Ten schools allowed the sales in select locations to season ticket holders but not to every fan. With the popularity of the alcohol sales in mind, other schools have taken note.
Indiana University is one of the schools that is hopping on the alcohol train. In a campaign encouraging more attendance at games, Indiana believes the new drinks being sold will “enhance the game day experience” and get people in the game and fill some seats.
If the trend continues, with more and more schools promoting the in-game experience by introducing alcohol into concession stand circulation, it’s likely to see alcohol at games in most schools nationwide in a few years.