The University of California’s upcoming season of football is to give fans something to cheer off-the-field with new gameday enhancements at Memorial Stadium.
The home of the Golden Bears is introducing a number of new offerings with the most notable being the expansion of beer and wine sales locations inside the stadium. Previously, beer and wine has only been available to buy outside the venue at its Tailgate Town, a beer garden, or club spaces inside. Now, beginning this season, fans will be able to purchase beer and wine at eight stand-alone locations around Memorial Stadium.
According to the school, prior to making this decision Cal Athletics consulted and collaborated with numerous departments and organizations on campus. Cal reached out to other schools, as well, to discuss best practices and results, and received feedback showing that offering beer and wine inside stadiums can lead to reduced alcohol-related incidents and reduced binge drinking at tailgates.
“Many of our ticket holders have told us that they would like additional locations for the purchase of beer and wine during our events,” said Jim Knowlton, director of athletics. “At the same time, it is imperative that we continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all of our fans in a family-friendly environment. We have been deliberate in our planning, meeting with numerous colleagues and subject-area experts on campus over the past several months, and then implementing best practices based on their guidance, as well as research and evaluation of how the best stadiums manage alcohol sales. While we have confidence in the systems we are putting in place to manage sales and consumption, we will not hesitate to make appropriate adjustments if needed.”
Although beer and wine will now be sold inside the stadium, alcohol will not be allowed in the student section or in a designated family seating area and sales are scheduled to end at the beginning of the third quarter.
In addition to this, Memorial Stadium will also see fan assistance booths located at a number of entry gates that will be able to help with general questions, directions, complaints or stadium information.
The new gameday enhancements will complement the offering of live bands and free tailgating concerts, t-shirt tosses and giveaways, which the school successfully implemented last season.