Penn State will begin selling beer to the general public at Beaver Stadium during the 2022 football season, with the game yet to be announced.
Penn State’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved a plan to expand beer sales at Beaver Stadium, where alcohol has been available in suites and club seats since 2016. In a press release, Penn State said a start date is being set, meaning beer will not be available throughout the stadium for the Sept. 24 Lions home game against Central Michigan.
Penn State athletic director Patrick Kraft told trustees that the department is “ready to execute on the plan.” Penn State’s next home game is October 1 against Northwestern.
The Board passed the resolution with five negative votes.
Some details of Penn State’s plan:
- Beer is sold in 16 ounces. cans. No seltzer or other alcohol will be available to the general public.
- Customers must have their ID scanned and wear wristbands to prove they are 21 years old.
- Three local beer brands and two specialty beer brands are offered. Specifics remain TBA.
- Suggested price points are $10 for domestic brands and $12 for specialty brands.
- Points of sale will be set up around the stadium. This includes 15 field-level beer stations, 13 hall-level stations, and a variety of portable locations and “dealers.”
- Points of sale are located outside the student areas.
- Customers are limited to two beers per purchase.
- The sale ends at the end of the third quarter.
Penn State said proceeds from alcohol sales will fund deferred maintenance projects at Beaver Stadium. Kraft told the board that the athletic division expects a “moderate” six-figure loss this year and projected seven-figure second-year sales.
Trustee Valerie Detweiler, citing forecasts from the athletic department, said third-year profits would be “just under $2.5 million.”
“Penn State Athletics is constantly looking for ways to provide additional amenities for fans to enhance the game day experience,” the university said in a press release. “A 2021 Beaver Stadium Study suggests there is an ever-growing need to improve the fan experience and amenities at a historic venue like Beaver Stadium – with one of those recommendations being the sale of alcohol at the stadium to add.”
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Penn State becomes the ninth Big Ten program to sell beer throughout the stadium.
Last year, Iowa reported $3 million in revenue from alcohol sales at sporting events in 2021-22, the first year the option was offered. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, three football games, including the Oct. 9 game against Penn State, sold more alcohol overall than any other sport during the entire season.
Penn State has been looking for ways to increase revenue from athletics for years. According to its most recent financial file, Penn State Athletics reported a budget deficit of $23.9 for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which covered the pandemic-related sports seasons played in front of no fans.
Penn State recently hosted a Topgolf Live location at Beaver Stadium, where fans could hit golf balls at field targets from inside the arena. Kraft said he wants Beaver Stadium to host more events than seven home football games a year.
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AllPennState is Penn State’s place for news, opinions and perspectives on the SI.com network. Editor Mark Wogenrich has covered Penn State for more than 20 years, tracking three coaching staffs, three Big Ten titles and a catalog of great stories. Follow him on Twitter @ Mark Wogenrich. And subscribe to more great content on the SI.com network (buttons on the home page).