Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Miami to sell beer at Yager Stadium

In one of his last moves as president, David Hodge authorizes alcohol sales

By Ben Blanchard, Sports Editor

Following a lengthy process that began in early 2015, outgoing Miami University President David Hodge has authorized beer sales at Yager Stadium next fall.

The decision comes after the university sold beer in the club level of hockey games this past season to test viability at other venues. In a memo to top university officials, Hodge said that the trial run "was well received and there were absolutely no issues regarding responsible consumption."

Hodge cited this success as a first step in Miami gaining experience and confidence in being able to provide responsible service with responsible behavior.

Additionally, Hodge cited that six other Mid-American Conference schools (Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Northern Illinois, and Toledo) offer beer at football games in general areas and all 12 MAC schools offer beer in premium locations.

"We waited to see if there were lessons to be learned from other MAC schools, and we've been moving cautiously through this entire process" Miami University communications director Claire Wagner said.

Beer will only be sold within Yager Stadium gates and will be targeted at alumni and older students. Hodge argued that beer at football games "would provide an appropriate alternative for students of legal age to the excessive drinking uptown, and, importantly, also model responsible consumption of alcohol."

This move comes as Miami struggles to retain Division 1 status as a football program, due to the NCAA's 15,000-person attendance requirement. The past several seasons, Miami has barely surpassed that mark.

On May 6, The Miami Student reported that a lack of alcohol sales at Yager was one of the reasons many Miami students don't attend football games, behind Miami's poor record and the fact that most students' friends do not attend.

Alcohol sales have been prohibited at Miami athletic events since 2006, when the university decided that the cost of increased security to deal with altercations was not worth the profit and increased attendance from beer sales.

While the specifics of the beer vending have not been outlined yet, many students are already excited about the plan.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

"I think it's a great business decision, I expect it to really boost attendance," sophomore Will Malpede said. "I'm sure it will attract a lot of the upperclassmen, alumni, and Oxford residents."

Before sales begin, a university team will determine the logistics, policies and constraints necessary for success, as well as obtain all required liquor licenses. This will include strategies to deter students with fake IDs, as well as whether or not meal plan money will be accepted.