For fans looking for a more effective pick-me-up than diet soda, Boise State concessions may soon add extra items to the beverage menu. Alcohol sales could potentially make their way to Albertsons Stadium.
The Idaho State Board of Education distributed a press release on Oct. 17 stating their intention to vote on a policy change regarding alcohol permits at public college events. The change would permit university presidents in Idaho to decide whether to allow alcohol sales at football games, as long as they follow security and safety guidelines.
“This board needs to focus on strategic direction for education policy,” wrote board member Andrew Scoggin in a press release. “We have very capable and competent chief executive officers at these institutions, and there are very clear requirements for safety and security that they will have to meet in order to authorize these permits.”
In 2016, the board voted to ban the sale of alcohol to fans after allowing alcoholic beverage sales during the 2015 season. This led to the opening and then the sudden closing of the treasured beer garden, “The Huddle.”
For many fans, the current alcohol policy does not seem consistent. Alcohol can be consumed in the Stueckle Sky Center or in the tailgating lots, but not inside the stadium. For the average fan who does not tailgate or have exclusive access into Stueckle, consuming alcohol at football games is not an option.
The board’s past decisions to limit alcohol consumption at games were motivated by the reduction of minor consumption of alcohol. Boise State’s student population is largely under 21 years of age. In the past, if the board allowed alcohol sales, they worried it would send the wrong message.
The debate regarding alcohol sales at football games has some of-age students split.
“It would bring in revenue for the university,” said senior health studies major Brady Yarbrough. “But there’s also negative effects, like when people get confrontational [after drinking].”
Boise State has a notorious fair-weather fan base. Fans need a reason to come out to the game in the bone-chilling November and December games and, for some, alcohol could be a good warming agent.
“I think being able to have a drink would make the game more enjoyable,” Yarbrough said. “While not everyone might like this idea, I would enjoy the option to be able to drink if I wanted to.”
The board directed staff to continue to refine the policy change before it is considered for final approval, according to the press release on Oct.17.
“Please note that the final approval hasn’t occurred,” said the board’s chief communications officer Mike Keckler via email. “The board will take this up again in December.”
If the policy change passes in December, the decision to allow alcohol sales at Bronco games will ultimately be decided by recently invested Boise State President Marlene Tromp.