By Ryan Connors
The University’s Student Government Association has been discussing a measure that would allow alcohol sales at sporting events, primarily the sale of beer at Byrd Stadium during football games.
“We want safer drinking practices,” said junior management and finance major Ian Moritz of the Student Government Association. “Currently there is a lot of binge drinking before games, and we think that selling alcohol at sporting events should curb that.”
However, the plan does not attack the tailgating culture, nor does it approach underage drinking.
“It’s not going to stop anyone from getting drunk because people will still drink at the tailgates,” said senior computer science major Zach Portnoff. “I think people would drink just as much at tailgates because it is less expensive than stadium beers.”
Moritz acknowledged this policy will not be accepted by the university overnight. The idea was proposed to the university in February but there has not been much news on the proposal since. He remains “cautiously optimistic” that the university will approve the measure.
“The university never rushes to make a policy decision,” said Moritz. “They do their due diligence, and they want to make sure every department has a say.”
One potential issue that could arise would be that underage students could try to buy beer.
“That has been a concern, but we have trained bartenders on staff who are more than qualified to identify who is 21 and who is not,” Moritz said.
There are currently 21 on-campus college football stadiums that serve beer – twice as many as there were five years ago, according to ESPN. Beer sales also have the potential to make more money for the school and cut into the athletics department’s debt. West Virginia made more than $5,000 in each of the past three years.
Despite the potential for increased profit, Moritz said the SGA’s proposal did not consider the economic implications. The main concern is the well being of the students.