Proposal would allow sale of beer, wine at university games

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Drinking is part of the game for many fans of college athletics, but right now alcohol is not sold inside most university sporting events in Arizona. That could change under a proposal being debated in the State House of Representatives.

Three House Democrats have introduced a bill, HB 2785, that would enable the Arizona Board of Regents to create a pilot program for beer and wine to be sold at university-sponsored sporting events.

"This would be a huge benefit to our universities, especially in the face of declining revenues from the state," Rep. Ed Ableser (D-Tempe) said.

Ableser cited the success of another school, West Virginia University, where the athletic program raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars after implementing the program.

Proponents of the bill also argue that controlling the sale of alcohol inside the stadium and adding security would create a safer atmosphere for fans and could decrease the number of alcohol-related incidents at games.

Among the rules for program, vendors would have to stop selling alcohol early in the third quarter and fans who leave would not be allowed to re-enter after that point.

"I think it would make for better attendance and keep kids less rowdy outside the game," said Max Nelson, an Arizona State University student.

Others said the addition of booze is unnecessary.

"I'm against it," said Sue Hysong, a Sun Devils' season ticket holder. "I have experienced people walking in front of me and over me spilling drinks on people and all over the seats just laughing and joking and thinking it's nothing, and I think it's very annoying."

A spokeswoman from the Arizona Board of Regents said the board has not taken a position on the bill.

A representative from ASU declined comment.