WKU selling beer at football games

WKU had a recored crowd of 23,252 breaking the previous recored of 22,297 back in 2008 when the stadium first opened. WKU won 42-17 against Southern Miss with a record crowd of 23,252 at Smith stadium.

Quiche Matchen

Some WKU fans now have something to cheer about besides a 3-1 football team.

Starting with the Toppers’ season opener on Sept. 1, the school is now selling beer at select locations in Smith Stadium during home games.

Athletics Director Todd Stewart said in an email the idea to sell beer at concession stands came from the athletics staff, university personnel and the school’s concessionaire, Centerplate.

“We came to the conclusion to proceed under specific guidelines in providing something that many of our fans are accustomed to having at other venues they regularly attend,” Stewart said.

Other venues in town that sell beer during events include Bowling Green Ballpark, the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center (SKyPAC) and  Denes Field, WKU’s home baseball field.

Beer was sold this May in Smith Stadium at the John Mellencamp concert. It has also been sold in the stadium club since its inception in 2008.

Current and future Sun Belt Conference members South Alabama, Louisiana-Lafayette and Georgia State also offer beer at their home football games.   

Stewart said after extensively analyzing the concept, the school was comfortable moving forward with the sale of beer this season.

This was a good choice especially for the fans, he said.

“Any time we can increase the overall experience and choices our fans have, that is a good thing,” Stewart said. “We always want the game day experience for our fans to be enjoyable and positive, and we feel that adding food and beverage options is a positive change because it increases the choices our fans have.”

Six beers — Coors Light, Miller Lite, Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra and Summer Shanty — are being sold. Each cost $5.

They’re not being sold at traditional concession stands, but at seven portable locations throughout the stadium.

Fans buying beer must first show ID to obtain a non-transferable bracelet that must be worn in order to make the purchase.

No more than two beers may be bought at one time, and all beer sales stop at the end of the third quarter.

Also, fans who sign up to be a designated driver receive complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.

Nashville senior Kasey Kingsbury said he’s excited about this change.

“It’s amazing because everyone drinks before the game so it’s cool to have it at the game,” Kingsbury said.

WKU parent Cynthia Wisbey, of Grayslake, Ill., however, said she was shocked by the decision to sell beer.

“In my day we had to work had to sneak (beer) in,” Wisbey said. “I believe fans/students get enough opportunity before the game and after that it isn’t necessary to be drinking, spilling and getting more obnoxious during the game.”

Personnel selling beer reserve the right to deny a sale to anyone showing signs of intoxication.