Miami obtains liquor license, beer to be served to 'VIPs'
By Duncan Stewart, For The Miami Student
Goggin Ice Center will begin serving alcoholic beverages in select areas for the first time this winter, becoming the only Miami University sports facility to do so.
However, the alcohol may still be out of reach for most students.
Miami requested and received a Butler County liquor license for Goggin in September, according to the Ohio Department of Commerce.
"Beer will be served in Goggin in a very restricted way," said Claire Wagner, director of university news and communications.
Alcohol will only be provided at the bar in the VIP Club Room, which is closed to general admission. Viewers in the two private suites will be able to request beer service as well.
Those who are over 21 and wish to drink must show an ID to receive a wristband. They won't be allowed to bring their drink out of the Club Room or the suites.
Budweiser, Bud Light, Yuengling and Yuengling Light will be available for $3, while Labatt's, Heineken and several craft beers will be $4. Meal plan will not be accepted as a form of payment.
Brian Avolio, a manager for Miami's Fan Relationship Management Center, said this change is mainly for adults and not students.
"We don't see many students [in the Club and suites]," he said. "The vast majority are faculty, staff and alumni."
This may be a result of the costly tickets for these areas. Season tickets for the club are $580, plus a required $750 donation to the Red and White Club, a booster group that provides scholarships to athletes. Renting a suite is $2,000 for the larger, 25-person option, and $1,000 for the smaller suite.
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Junior Matt Lannen doesn't think he will be affected by this change.
"I think the fact that as a student, we can go to games for free, I wouldn't pay more just to go drink expensive beer when I can get in for free anyway," Lannen said.
Chris Haught, a junior, said while he personally wouldn't attend more games because of alcohol sales, he does believe it would be popular among the student body.
"Beat the Clock would be more cost effective, and that might keep some students away," he said.
There are other sports that could benefit from the crowds drawn in by beer. Katie Sternasty, a sophomore who works as a ticket seller at Yager Stadium, thinks the football program could use the help.
"I think it would be a great idea if they did the same thing as Goggin, but sold it to general admission, too," she said. "It might encourage a bigger fan base, like what Ohio State University has, and could make tailgating a thing, instead of just going Uptown to drink."
Currently, in Miami's tailgaiting zone, beer is only sold inside the Red and White Club tent, similar to Goggin's policy. No alcohol is allowed inside the Red Zone or the End Zone, areas reserved specifically for students. This was a cause of controversy last fall, inciting a boycott of the tailgate by the campus sororities in protest of the strict rules.
"I think [the sale of alcohol] will help our school spirit," said sophomore Jill Stinson. "The more people at games, the better. And it'll just be fun to go grab a beer with friends at a hockey game."
Correction: This version of the story clarifies that Miami University has no concrete plans to expand sales of beer at hockey games to the student section.