West Virginia approves beer sales in stadiums

June, 3, 2011
6/03/11
4:29
PM ET
College stadiums and arenas, like their NFL and NBA brethren, should sell beer to fans. For one, it's a great way to make money for your struggling athletics department budget. It's also relatively harmless: Fans that want to sneak booze into games already do so, and as long as your service policy is restrictive and well-enforced, you're not going to increase that intake by making the alcohol legal at the stadium.

Plus, if you're worried beer will fall into the hands of underage college students, you apparently haven't visited a college campus in the last, say, 40 years. College kids, many of them younger than 21, drink alcohol. Lots of it, actually. I know, right? Stop the presses.

Most colleges seem to disagree. Or -- at least where sports is involved -- they prefer to pretend as much. UNLV is one exception. Memphis football games are another. In recent years some college football stadiums have begun selling beer in luxury boxes only. More often than not, though, college administrations seem to toil under the notion that allowing of-age adults the ability to buy beer at steep arena markups would lead to human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together and mass hysteria.

Given all that, it's refreshing (sorry) to hear the latest news out of Morgantown, Wva., where West Virginia has decided to allow the sale of beer at Mountaineers sporting events, including football and basketball games. There are rules, of course: No beer vendors in the student section, valid ID required for all purchases, limit of two beers per purchase, and so on. In all, the change seems reasonable and economically rational, and Google has failed to yield find one obviously outraged reaction. (I'm sure it's out there. Give it time.)

This is probably the place where one inserts his go-to West Virginia fans are couch-burning crazies joke. And sure, Mountaineers hoops fans have been known to be a teensy bit rowdy in the WVU Coliseum in the past. But that's a minority, a minority that probably doesn't pace itself on the liquid courage before games in the first place. Idiots will always be idiots. Allowing both idiots and non-idiots alike to buy beer -- instead of sneakily chugging brown liquor from a hidden flask -- is a step in a more enlightened direction.

In any case, enjoy your new privileges, WVU fans. But please do so responsibly. In the meantime, an eager nation is curious: Just what kind of beer are you going to serve, anyway?

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