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Penn State considering limited alcohol use at sporting events, concerts

Penn State considering limited alcohol use at sporting events, concerts


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Bill Schackner

February 26, 2016

Penn State University leaders Thursday proposed permitting limited alcohol consumption in suites, club seats and reception areas during intercollegiate athletic events and venue-wide during non-intercollegiate events including concerts and professional sports.


Administrators presented the idea to the Penn State board of trustees Committee on Legal and Compliance during an informational meeting Thursday in Hershey. The full board of trustees is expected to take up the proposed policy change in May.


Sales during intercollegiate athletic contests would be in “private, controllable spaces” and “is not being considered for general seating areas, including student sections,” the university said in a statement.


Alcohol would be sold throughout athletic facilities during non-intercollegiate athletic events, officials said. The new policy would also apply to Penn State Golf Courses.


“For attracting top performing acts to our venues and in hosting major sporting events beyond the college level, it is common practice to permit the sale of alcohol,” David Gray, senior vice president for finance and business, said in a statement issued by the university. “Our venues are at a disadvantage in gaining the sign-on of such attractions, and it is possible to have alcohol served in a safe and responsible manner.”


Penn State said it checked with other venues nationally and concluded alcohol can be safely consumed at events using professionals. “The plan is to have certified servers in these areas who also are trained in intervention,” the school’s statement said.


Should the full board approve the proposal, implementation would not occur immediately, officials said. A projected date was not offered.


Last year, Penn State experimented with serving alcohol during a Garth Brooks concert in the Bryce Jordan Center. The university said it relied on strict security and on professionals who enforced per-person drink limits.


“The multiple shows that Brooks performed at the [center] resulted in fewer police incidents than other similar acts where alcohol was not served,” the university stated.