Last week West Virginia University voted to allow the sale of beer at Mountaineer Field, becoming one of the few schools to go this route. As a BC season ticket holder, I've always pondered this question: why won't BC allow the sale of alcohol at its sporting events?
The reasons came to me fast and furiously -- conservative Catholic leadership, the neighbors, family atmosphere, the neighbors, the students section wouldn't be able to handle, and lastly the neighbors in the surrounding communities. But is selling beer, and "doing it correctly" really that bad of a thing? By doing it correctly I mean this: don't sell it in the student sections, don't sell it in the stands and cut it off before the fourth quarter. It doesn't seem like that bad of an idea to me. So I decided to look at all the reasons why it wouldn't be a bad thing to buy a brew at Alumni Stadium.
Increased revenue for Boston College
The Smoking Musket estimates that opening the kegs at West Virginia will increase revenue each football season by $500,000 and while the cost of extra revenue per ticket rises by $8. True, Mountaineer Field can hold 15,000 more fans than Alumni (when it's full), but I am pretty sure our Irish alumni could easily cover the difference. Plus during games we already have enough police presence than is staffed in the entire state of Maine. Think of what BC athletics could do with that money they raise with that money. Building better facilities over time and much more marketing is just the tip of the iceberg.
Increased interest in BC games by casual fans
I'm not advocating that drinking is the only reason to go to a college football game, but for many it adds to the atmosphere. BC has a hell of a time selling tickets to young alumni and non-BC grads in the Boston area. What if BC could turn their image around and say "Hey why not come enjoy the game with inexpensive tickets, tailgate, and enjoy a few beers in the stadium."
I am telling you right now more people in the Boston area would come. The family friendly atmosphere is cute, and we should definitely try to keep areas alcohol free, but get a few crazy fans in there, it might liven Alumni a little.They may be annoying, but BC is struggling to fill seats at this point, and I'd rather see them buying tickets than entire sections going completely empty.
Fun for the diehards
Beer and football go hand in hand. I know I am going to come across as a stereotypical Bostonian when I say I have a hard time enjoying a game without a brew. I don't need to get drunk, but nothing beats sipping on a nice cold one after a hard week's work while watching your favorite team play Notre Dame. It's just nirvana. That's probably why so many fans sneak in flasks and "road sodas." Which, by the way, is all revenue BC is losing. Plus, if you keep the fans happy ... increased game experiences = more ticket sales = better fan base. amiright?
I am clearly biased in this debate, and I know that there is no chance in hell the leadership at BC ever opens those flood gates. But what do you say? In a dreamy, ideal world, would you like to see BC selling beer at their home events?