Buckeye Nation, get prepared to get your Saturday in-stadium beer on.
Joining a burgeoning trend nationwide, Ohio State announced Wednesday afternoon that beer sales at Ohio Stadium will now be available for all in attendance during the 2016 football season. In August of last year, OSU announced a pilot program in which fans with access to the Horseshoe’s suites and club seats would be provided with the opportunity to purchase beer and wine during football games.
Those premium areas seated just 4,370 fans; now, with a capacity in excess of 100,000, exponentially more fans will have access to alcohol as they root on their Buckeyes.
While expanding the availability of alcohol could increase security concerns, the school is addressing and, hopefully, alleviating that somewhat as well. From the release:
The revenue generated by alcohol sales at Ohio Stadium will be used to fund two new full-time positions in the Ohio State Police Department at an annual cost of about $300,000. These new positions will be utilized year-round by campus police and are not specifically just for game day security.
“The safety of our campus community, including fans and visitors, is our number one priority,” OSU police chief Craig Stone said. “Thanks to this partnership with the Department of Athletics, two new, full-time officers will bolster our security presence and enhance campus safety year-round.”
Subsidizing two new campus police positions won’t eat through all of the projected profits, so the university has plans for the remaining money.
In addition, $50,000 will be dedicated over the next two years to fund research being conducted by John Clapp, who oversees the Ohio State University Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Misuse Prevention and Recovery. The funds provided will be used to study how alcohol is consumed and its effects on event culture with the goal of enhancing prevention efforts.
Any additional revenue will go to the general athletics department budget to help fund student-athlete initiatives including but not limited to study abroad and community service programs, the Bucks Go Pro internship program, cost of attendance and supplemental nutrition and meals.