Washington Husky fans are being given a longer leash at home football games this year.
The University of Washington announced a new feature at Husky Stadium: The Off-Leash Deck. For $25, fans can buy a standing room only ticket on the northwest deck of the stadium that will serve beer, wine and snacks before and throughout the game. Tickets can be used for admission to the game, or in addition to an existing ticket. All beverages must be consumed in the section. Capacity of this new area is limited to 500 people.
If UW sells out the "Off-Leash" tickets for its seven home games, and each person bought four beers, the school would bring in nearly $200,000 in revenue according to KREM.com. UW had previously limited beer and wine sales to suites and its club seating area, Club Husky.
Alcohol policies at college sports venues is a topic that has been in the news a lot lately. There are now 21 on-campus football stadiums — twice as many as five years ago — where any fan of legal age can buy a beer. This article, written by USA Today's Dan Wolken says alcohol sales is the new trend at college venues.
College Football Stadiums Where Alcohol Will Be Sold This Season
(Besides suites and special seating areas)
On-Campus Stadiums: Akron, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Houston, Kent State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisville, Minnesota, Nevada, North Texas, SMU, Syracuse, Toledo, Troy, Tulane, UNLV, UTEP, Western Kentucky, West Virgina
Off-Campus Stadiums: Connecticut, Georgia State, Hawaii, Massachusetts (three games at Gillette Stadium), Memphis, Miami, San Diego State, South Alabama, South Florida, Temple, Texas-San Antonio
West Virginia is among the schools that sells alcohol at its stadium. Game day beer revenue has totaled about $750,000 per year and incidents involving police inside the stadium have dropped by 30 percent.
"With all due respect to folks who say it's a slippery slope, there is already a lot of alcohol, beer, and hard liquor, wine whatever, at college football games," West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck told KREM. "Anyone who doesn't acknowledge that is probably not being straight forward." Luck says he applauds the move by UW to add this section to Husky Stadium.
As for security concerns, UW police commander Steve Rittereiser says the athletic department consulted with police before making the alcohol change.
"I think it's manageable," Rittereiser said.
Husky fans can officially break free from their leashes on September 6, when the Huskies host Eastern Washington in their home opener. We're curious what you think. Are alcohol sales at college venues a good idea?
Our weekly recap of news and notes from around the athletic, fitness and recreation industries. This week we've got news on a fantasy-focus in NFL venues, a hot-dog drama in Kansas City, an update on the NBA's inroads in Africa, and plans that would allow you to live at a minor league ballpark.
San Francisco officials are on the verge of spitting out a rule that would ban smokeless tobacco from ball fields throughout the city, including the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park.
If the ban is approved, AT&T Park would become the first major league ballpark to ban smokeless tobacco. It’s a move welcomed by Major league Baseball.
“As we have repeatedly and publicly acknowledged, MLB has long supported a ban of smokeless tobacco at the Major League level," the league said in a statement, "and we intend to comply with all applicable laws regarding the use of smokeless tobacco on the field in all of our ballparks.”
As the Los Angeles Times reports, The ban still needs to pass a second Board of Supervisors vote and be signed by Mayor Ed Lee.
“San Francisco will send a simple and strong message,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the ordinance. “Tobacco use in sports will no longer harm our youth, our health.”
According to the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 1,203 municipalities in the United States have enacted 100% smokefree laws and all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums have rules that limit or completely prohibit smoking. The same cannot be said about smokeless tobacco.
Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell, told the L.A. Times he chews a can of smokeless tobacco each day. However, he’s still in favor of the San Francisco ban.
"I'm for it,” he said. “It should be enforced. It's common sense. It's a filthy habit. I do it. Maybe it will help me quit," Howell said. "I've tried to quit every off-season. It's mainly more cutting back than quitting.”
But he may not speak for all major leaguers.
Per the L.A. Times:
The Major League Baseball Players Assn. declined to comment on the legislation.
During the last round of collective bargaining, management sought — and the union rejected — a ban on smokeless tobacco. Such a ban is in place in the minor leagues, where management can implement changes unilaterally.
The union argued that it would not be appropriate to ban a product that remains legal and widely available.
However, management and the union agreed to forbid the use of smokeless tobacco in televised interviews and player appearances, to restrict players from carrying tobacco products in their uniforms, to develop and implement educational programs to demonstrate the health risks of tobacco use, and to provide resources to any player wishing to quit.
The Campaign for Tabacco-Free Kids estimates about 535,000 children ages 12 to 17 start using smokeless tobacco each year.
The Los Angeles area is doing everything it can to lure an NFL team (or three) back to the country’s second-largest media market. On Tuesday, the area took another step toward that goal as Carson City Council approved a new football stadium in a 3-0 vote.