Glenn Guilbeau / Gannett Louisiana
BATON ROUGE – The first beer sales for LSU football games in Tiger Stadium may be on tap in the future, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday afternoon.
“As we talk about the fan experience, which is very important, I think there may come a day that we may sell beer at college events at LSU,” Alleva said when asked about the possibility. “I think at some point – I don’t know if it will be five years from now, 10 years from now – but I think at some point, I think it’s going to happen.”
At the moment, the Southeastern Conference office has rules against any of its 14 member institutions selling beer at any athletic events.
“I just think it’s something that we have to study and look at in the future,” Alleva said. “You never say never. I think there’s a possibility that could happen.”
West Virginia University started selling beer in recent years.
“And the number of incidents they had – police related incidents – actually went down,” Alleva said.
A study by the West Virginia University athletic department said the number of calls and arrest and charges went down on game days, according to an Associated Press story out of Morgantown, W.Va., in February of 2012. “This was probably the best season I’ve ever worked,” WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts was quoted as saying in the story.
When asked via Twitter about potential beer sales at Tiger Stadium in the future, several LSU fans basically said they would drink to that.
“I can’t believe this is a question that needs to be asked,” tweeted one fan.
“Why not sell beer in Tiger Stadium? Then maybe they don’t have to raise ticket prices. Beer will make them more money,” said Lance Hill @pike1452.
Alleva recently raised football ticket prices.
“Don’t see any problems with it. People are bringing it in already,” Scott Millican @LSUFAN869 said.
“Cut off at the end of the third quarter and hire more security to assure no incidents and have a stadium ban if you get drunk and out of hand,” said Paul Krewe @PaulKrewe.
“I don’t see a problem with it. Why not make the extra revenue? And it’s not like alcohol isn’t making its way in already,” said Jim Bridges @tigers715.
But others were cooler to the idea.
“If it’s priced like at NFL and MLB games, I won’t be buying,” said Billy Hicks @18handicap.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. Student section can’t control themselves now,” Karen Frizzell of Shreveport said.
ALLEVA WOULD WELCOME OPENLY GAY PLAYER: In light of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft over the weekend, LSU’s athletic director was asked if LSU is prepared to handle an openly gay player.
“Oh, absolutely,” Alleva said. “As long as they can play. If they can play, they can play. I think that’s the only requirement. If you can compete on the field, your sexual preference is irrelevant.”
TRAFFIC PROBLEMS: Alleva hired a traffic consulting firm last year to study traffic problems to and from LSU football games in Baton Rouge and is hopeful game commutes improve this season.
“We are going to work very diligently with city and parish and state police to try to expedite our fans getting to and from games at Tiger Stadium,” he said.
SOUTH END ZONE ADDITION: Tiger Stadium will debut a south end zone addition this season with about 4,500 additional seats that will bring capacity close to 100,000.
“You’re going to be really impressed,” Alleva said. “It is fantastic. Tiger Stadium has always had a reputation for being loud. It’s going to be louder.”