LSU is working on plans to bring beer sales to football games for the 2017 season, though nothing is official just yet.
Plans call for a beer garden concept, which would limit sales to a specific area within Tiger Stadium. Beer would not be available at regular concessions stands.
According to Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, the school is “aggressively” working to have a plan in place by the time the season kicks off. The school is in talks with the Southeastern Conference, working on details. SEC policy currently prohibits member schools from selling alcohol at athletic events, though stadium club and suite seating are considered separate structures from stadiums.
The beer garden concept would allow fans without access to those premium seats to purchase alcohol.
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has been a proponent of beer sales for years, and told the Baton Rouge Press Club in 2014 that “it’s going to happen at some point.” Alleva believes expanded beer sales would not only enhance the fan experience, but also provide a boost to both revenue and stadium attendance. He's also said that allowing beer sales inside the stadium could even curb binge drinking among fans.
University officials haven’t gotten approval for the concept yet, but they are considering possible locations for the beer garden within the stadium.
LSU would not be the first collegiate program to open their venues to limited alcohol sales. Reportedly, more than a dozen schools have experimented with similar ideas in recent years, including Colorado, Florida, Ohio State, Texas and West Virginia.
A September article in Inside Higher Ed found that while there’s been little evidence of attendance increases after schools began selling alcohol, there has at least been increases in revenue.