Should there be beer sales at Michigan Stadium?

Submitted by Michiganguy19 on August 22nd, 2014 at 2:25 PM

ESPN Article highlights the 21 schools that currently sell beer at on-campus stadiums. The list includes a few Power-5 Conference schools (Syracuse, West. Virginia, Louisville) and one Big Ten School Minnesota.

First hand experience has me thinking that based on what I saw at the soccer match earlier this month... That in theory this should be something on the table at all schools for consideration. Conservatively at the soccer match I would not be surprised if 50,000 (probably many more than this) beers were sold in total at $10 a beer. That would be a good amount of revenue across football, basketball, etc.

I know there are other factors and opinions out there, but from what the old timers post on this blog and from what I know from my parents... Michigan Stadium used to be BYOB.…



August 22nd, 2014 at 2:31 PM ^

Would you care to provide any thought as to why it would lead to so many more problems?  I mean if everyone is able to get wasted before they come in and there aren't large amounts of problems, what makes you believe there would be more?  Not to mention every major league sport sells acohol as sporting events and gets along just fine.


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:49 PM ^

Those 4 hours in the stadium to sober up probably is the difference between driving home safe and a DUI or worse for a lot of folks unfortunately. Fights, vandalism, general unruly behavior would all probably get worse. 


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:45 PM ^

I disagree.  First, it would likely all be light beer with relatively low ABV.  Secondly, there would be a cut off point at some point, likely around the end of the 3rd quarter, so people aren't chugging beers right before they leave.  

Thirdly - how quickly are you able to get from the stadium to your car and get moving anyway? It's not like having a beer at a bar where you can finish it and be on the road 2 minutes later.  The time it takes to exit the stadium, walk to your car and wait for traffic to move enough, will allow for a lot of sobering up.  Lastly - as adults you have the responsibility to not get shit-faced if you're driving home.  Every pro stadium in the world sells beer and it's not like there are DUIs galore after all of those. 

I actaully think a lot of the unruly behavior will decrease.  Right now you have people getting wasted before the game so their buzz lasts throughout it.  If those people knew they could buy beer in the stadium, they won't need to party so hard before hand and it might even things out a lot more.  

Monocle Smile

August 22nd, 2014 at 4:08 PM ^

The one thing you're missing is that people who get wasted enough to keep their buzz going all through the game end up too drunk to even attend. That kind of thing happened constantly, and Hoover Street was packed with people trying to give away last-minute tickets because their friends passed out when I was in school.

As Don pointed out, drunk/disorderly conduct at major league events has gotten so bad, they're starting to separate crowds and institute new rules. I don't get this idea that everything's fine and dandy when the booze flows in the stadium.

Mr Miggle

August 22nd, 2014 at 4:55 PM ^

that sounds like the type of reasoning that leads to a lot of DUIs. There are a lot of problems in determining whether it's safe to drive under those circumstances. Are you keeping track of how much alcohol is consumed while tailgating? Are you paying attention to the time or to the game clock? Are you staying until the game is over? Always? Do you really know how long it's going to take to get on the road?

We've had some discussion with the York and Glasgow incidents about how DUIs should be punished. This illustrates the problem with cracking down too hard, at least on first offenders. It's one law that is often broken without intent. 


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:25 PM ^

I think that's far more likely to happen from the thousands of people tailgating already than someone drinking at the game. And if it was a huge deal, then it would be banned for the professional events as well. Not to mention, if drinking is already allowed on university property (golf course, parking lot for football, etc.) then it shouldn't be a big deal to also allow it in the stadium.


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:54 PM ^

after sitting in the sun for 3.5 to 4 hours drunk people tend to either sober up or fall asleep.


Continuing to drink means people stay drunk or get even drunker 

(this is why they cap alcohol sales in major league venues)

People who are really drunk tend to do stupid things


Also - every major sporting event has fights and problems, but they love the $ so they continue to sell

UofM athletics are supposed to be non-profit, let's explore whoring ourselves out in other ways before we open up the floodgates to alcohol fueled mayhem


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

I don't know what country you live in, but in this country there are significant alcohol-related problems at every sports venue selling beer at virtually every game. Things have gotten so out-of-hand with booze that some stadiums have started segregating their booze drinkers from families because the drunken assholes started driving away fans who wanted to take their families to the games.

At every Michigan home game there are fans, students and non-students alike, who are booted from the stadium for being drunken assholes, and some have to be treated by medical personnel either for overconsumption or for injuries they sustain from falling on their faces or fighting, or both. And all that's without selling booze on stadium grounds. Start selling it inside, and you are assured that the problems will only intensify in magnitude.


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:27 PM ^

I can't imagine there would be much of a difference with selling it in the stadium. The people who are willing to get that drunk and be drunk ass holes are a limited few in the population of fans. They're probably going to do that either way and adding beer in the stadium isn't going to magically create more drunk ass holes in the population.


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:47 PM ^

There's nothing magic about it—it's the predictable result of increasing alcohol availability.

Do you really want fans who've already been pounding down the beer for two hours at their tailgate buying more beer inside?

I would only support it if there were rigid controls put in place on the amount that could be sold to individuals, and if the drinkers were confined to a certain part of the stands.

I'm not some anti-booze abstainer, either, as my friends and family can attest. Like most people I can enjoy my booze without becoming a disruptive asshole, but there is a small but reliable percentage of the population that is simply unable to accomplish that feat. And they can make the sporting experience miserable for those around them.


August 22nd, 2014 at 4:03 PM ^

I honestly wouldn't mind, and didn't mind during the soccer match. It seemed fine to me. The lines were crazy long, but that was about the only negative thing I could say about it; and based on the statement I posted seems that the stadium authorities thought it was fine as well -- at minimum, no worse than football games.

It seems people are willing to speculate without any real evidence. The evidence (two games that have sold beer at the stadium) suggests that it wouldn't be anywhere near the issue that some are making it out to be.

Ivan Karamazov

August 22nd, 2014 at 4:17 PM ^

The reson they agreed to sell beer during the soccer game was becasue they weren't going to get the game if they didn't agree.  The soccer game was sponsored by Guiness (winter classic had MolsonCoorsas a sponsor) for Pete's sake.  The money generated from holding the game, not the beer sales alone, was enough of a factor to have a one time policy change.


August 22nd, 2014 at 4:07 PM ^

I have been to dozens of Pro Sporting events.  I haven't seen anything "significant" as you would call it.  I live in Wisconsin.  I have seen some of the biggest rivalry games out there in a place where drinking is taken to an entirely different level.  Packers Bears, Packers Vikings, Vikings Bears.  I have seen all 3 of those combinations are each stadium.  I was present at MNF when MN played GB with Favre in purple.  Nothing I saw lead me to believe that alochol was some huge problem.


Unless can cite any kind of statistic showing me something otherwise, my own personal experience tells me you are exaggerating at the very least and dead wrong at the very worst.


August 22nd, 2014 at 4:32 PM ^

Maybe the Wisco people are used to drinking all of the time and can handle it.  I've been to a number of Bills games and have seen a number of fights, near fights and it can create a scary atmosphere.  I wasn't at the game, but one drunk guy tried sliding down a railing and fell two stories onto another fan.  



August 22nd, 2014 at 4:48 PM ^

I'm not saying I haven't seen fights.  70k people packed together that don't like eachother you will see things.  It's not like I haven't seen the same thing at college sports where alcohol isn't sold or little league baseball and softball games when everyone is sober.  I just don't think I have seen anything "significant." 


I would say 90% of the pro sportiing events I attend I don't see anything resembling a fight. 


August 22nd, 2014 at 4:20 PM ^

I used to take my family to NFL games on Sunday. Many weekends it would be college football on Saturday, and the NFL on Sunday.   Different crowd, to be sure, but the big difference was the amount of alcohol.  After a while, I got tired of people getting sick, fights, and all the other crap that went on around me.  At Michigan games, maybe not in the student section, but in many areas there are families, often with young kids. People get boisterous and crazy, but it is a very different dynamic, one that I continue to support.  

If it becomes the usual revenue grab with eight or ten dollar beer,  I believe the atmosphere within the stadium will change, and not for the better.  If it does, the trip to Ann Arbor, which isn't easy or inexpensive, will have to be reevaluated.  It's a slippery slope that all the AD's are thinking about, but they better think long and hard or they may find more empty seats.

I can understand that students might feel differently, but they aren't at games with young children, nor do they typically drive home.


August 22nd, 2014 at 7:35 PM ^

I don't go to NFL games for this reason. They are not fine. I have never been to an NFL game and not seen multiple fights, and in one case a nice amount of pepper spray used. Let's keep college football about football, not an event to go drink at during the game. This would be the one thing that would probably cause me to give up my season tickets.


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:39 PM ^

Maybe people wouldn't get quite so trashed at tailgates if they knew they could grab a beer at the stadium? As others have mentioned, I think the sorts of people who would be drunk assholes are already being drunk assholes at the game. The marginal increase in assholes would be small, and the revenue would be huge. Better than raising ticket prices or adding more ads.


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:51 PM ^…

"Quite frankly, it was a low number of incidents for us," she said. "I think given that we didn't have any idea of what to expect for this event in our stadium, things went very smoothly and people seemed to have a pretty good time." sales would be a disaster. To quote Ghostbusters:


Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.

Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?

Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.

Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!

Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...

Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!

Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:01 PM ^

Just because they would make money off of it doesn't make it a "revenue grab."  Nothing wrong with making money off of beer sales.  People who don't want to pay the expensive prices won't do it.  I'd be all in favor.


August 22nd, 2014 at 4:55 PM ^

Please tell me you're thinking of nebulous things like social costs and you don't mean that a former CEO has no concept of the idea of costs and contribution margins and such, and thinks that the beer magically appears in the tap.  That's the only way that that wouldn't be a really, really dumb comment.


August 22nd, 2014 at 3:52 PM ^

Agreed, Wahoo.  I hate how everything that makes money is a "revenue grab" or "money grab" as if that's a bad thing.  You know what?  I bought a shirt from the MDen, and they charged me money for it.  What a money grab this whole merchandise industry is!

I always wondered by beer sales in the stadium was a no-no.  Tailgating with beer pong and jelly shots on the golf course and 3 story beer bongs are all accepted parts of University culture, but holy shit, don't sell light beer in the stadium or people might get drunk.  Or worse yet - the athletic department might make money.


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:29 PM ^

I loved tailgating at BGSU on Saturdays and then being able to go into the stadium and keep my buzz going. Only a short walk back to my house so no big deal.

Prices at BG were $6 for a 16oz plastic bottle. Not bad IMO. Unfortunately prices would be much higher at The Big House.


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:39 PM ^

Would be unreal, especially if draft beer.  Net cost would have to be less than $1/cup.  $500,000 in revenue vs. $50,000 in cost, x 6 or 7 home games.

That alone could keep a lot of advertising out of the stadium. 

FTR, I don't care either way - definitely don't need a beer in hand to enjoy the game.


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:36 PM ^

Oregon sells beer pre-game inside their practice facility 100 feet from the stadium. Good compromise between revenue and safety if we did that at Glick.

I thought I once heard the alcohol policy is set by the B1G not individual schools. Correct?


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

I was pleasantly surprised by how orderly and polite the crowd was at the soccer game. Granted there wasn't much at stake and it was a different crowd than for football, but there were far fewer drunk and disorderly folks than at any U of M football game (the police statistics confirm this). The ability to drink at the venue decreases the need to get wasted prior to kick-off and actually allows for responsible use of alcohol rather than binge drinking. 


August 22nd, 2014 at 2:38 PM ^

No, unless there's an alcohol-free family zone. Alcohol freely available in the stadium changes the experience. I would not bring my five year old to games anymore if alcohol were sold inside, unless we could sit somewhere to avoid the drinkers. The Lions game I went to when I didn't sit in the family zone was AWFUL because of the fans around me, and all of them were drinking the entire game.