Alcohol may be coming to college stadiums in Idaho. The universities are at least going to get to make the choice for themselves after the Idaho State Board of Education removed its alcohol restrictions.
The Idaho Statesman reported Thursday that the state of Idaho has left it up to each university to decide whether or not to sell alcohol at stadiums or pregame tailgates.
“The State Board felt like it was spending too much time discussing and setting alcohol consumption policy and wanted to focus more time on education-related issues,” Idaho State Board of Education spokesman Mike Keckler said. The board has four highly competent presidents in place, and has chosen to delegate decisions about responsible management of alcohol consumption at student athletic events to them.
“The university, with the president’s approval, could allow things like alcohol sales in the grandstands or concessions areas. That would be a decision the president would have to make.”
Boise State spokesman Greg Hahn told the Statesman that the school is still reviewing their policy. The Division I university currently sells alcohol in luxury boxes at Albertsons Stadium, where the Broncos play football.
The Statesman referenced a 2015 question-and-answer session in which Boise State athletic director Curt Apsey said “I would say I’m not a proponent of having alcohol in a stadium of college football, open like that.”
Selling alcohol could potentially be a new revenue stream in an industry that has been hurt significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. Boise State is one of many athletic departments across the country that have furloughed or cut salaries for employees.
While the 2020 college football season could be played without fans, selling alcohol typically brings in easy revenue. According to the Statesman, the New Mexico, Fresno State and Wyoming athletic departments all made more than $100,000 in their first year selling alcohol at games.
As of 2018, 51 of the 129 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools sold alcohol in general seating areas.