Students can expect beer at Miami’s first home game vs. Eastern Illinois 

By Ben Blanchard, Sports Editor

Following Saturday’s game at Big 10 powerhouse Iowa, Miami University will host Eastern Illinois on September 10, and college football will not be the only thing on tap that Saturday at Yager.

Pending the arrival of the required liquor license, Miami is prepared to start serving beer at its home games. The license has been granted, but the university has not yet received it.

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

Hodge referred to this success as a first step for Miami in gaining the experience and confidence necessary 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. All 12 MAC schools offer beer in premium locations.

Beer will only be sold within Yager Stadium’s gates and is primarily targeted at alumni and older students.

The area selling beer will be staffed by a mix of volunteers and workers certified through the Training for Intervention Procedures program. Students and adults will be required to show government issued identification to prevent underage drinking. After presenting ID, attendees will receive a wristband indicating that they are of legal drinking age.

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.”

To prevent overconsumption, vendors will sell a maximum of two beers at one time. No beer will be sold after five game minutes have passed in the third quarter. Servers and ushers will also monitor the stadium to prevent overconsumption and underage drinking.

Students will not be allowed to use their meal plan (declining balance or otherwise) to pay for beer. Fans will not be allowed to take beer in or out of the stadium.

These guidelines were developed by the Alcohol Coordinating Committee and are similar to steps taken at other MAC schools.

Miami University Director of Communications Claire Wagner said the training the servers received will ensure that underage drinking will be prevented to the best of the university’s ability.

Attendance at Yager has been a serious problem for Miami, even putting its Division 1 status into question. The NCAA requires a minimum attendance of 15,000 for Division 1 programs, and Miami has barely surpassed that mark in recent years.

Alcohol sales had 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 provided by beer sales.

Email Ben Blanchard at blanchbw@miamioh.edu

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