There’s chatter that beer sales at games is under consideration at several more MAC football venues which have, to date, declined such an option. Apparently, Eastern Michigan is taking its interest another step. Whether intended or not, it somewhat resembles university research – test and analyze. The follow release describes EMU’s one-game test.
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Beer will be sold only in a cordoned off area on the patio in front of the Convocation Center overlooking the football field. The area will only be accessible to fans 21 years or older attending the game. Anyone entering the patio must show valid photographic identification before they will be admitted into the area.
Beer sales in Rynearson Stadium will start 90 minutes prior to kickoff (1:30 p.m. for the 3 p.m. game) and end at the conclusion of the third quarter.
Patrons will be limited to two beers per person per transaction. No beer will be allowed outside of the patio area. Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase on the patio.
"Policies and procedures governing alcohol sales at The Factory at Rynearson Stadium aim to balance the desires of Eagle fans, while also promoting responsible alcohol consumption, ensuring the safety of students and fans and respecting our university neighbors," said Lyke.
"We are confident these steps will allow for controlled sales of beer without sacrificing the integrity of our educational mission. Athletic programs across the country are looking for alternate revenue streams for their institutions, while enhancing the game-day experience for fans, and the sale of alcohol has been an increasing part of that dynamic."
More than 32 schools nationwide sell alcohol at football games, with several launching programs in the past two years. Other Mid-American Conference institutions that also permit the sale of during games include: Akron, Bowling Green, Kent State and Toledo.
All servers staffing the area will be hired and trained by EMU Dining Services, the university's official food and beverage service vendor. Additionally, the staff has special training related to selling and serving alcohol (TIPS -- Training for Intervention Procedures.) TIPS is a skills-based responsible alcohol training and certification program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking and drunken driving.
To raise awareness of risks associated with drinking and driving, and to encourage responsible consumption of alcohol by customers, the university will team with the Arbor Brewing Company to implement a drink responsibly program.
The EMU Department of Public Safety will increase its game day presence and additional contracted security personnel assigned to the patio and Convocation Center area.
Arbor Brewing Company was selected as the beer vendor for the pilot program. Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., the original Arbor Brewing Company Pub and Eatery opened in July of 1995. They also founded a second location in Ypsilanti in 2006.
The cost of a 16 oz craft beer will be $7.
An assessment of the pilot program will take place before determining any future offerings.