More college football stadiums are selling alcohol to fans

A new poll finds colleges have been jumping on the trend of selling alcohol to fans, as 55 of 69 polled schools have something alcoholic for sale.
Fans at a college football game drink alcoholic beverages
Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 06, 2023

Cracking a beer is often as much a part of the football tailgate experience as the game itself, and in recent years college stadiums have been making that easier than ever.

A new poll by The Associated Press shows more and more college stadiums have started offering some level of alcohol service during games.

The AP polled 69 schools, including those in the Power Five conferences and Notre Dame in Indiana, and found that 55 of them, or 80%, now publicly sell alcohol during game days. Some of the rest of those 69 schools may also sell alcohol in controlled areas of the venue, like suites.

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Michigan football analytics assistant Connor Stalions, center left.

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Alcohol sales in college stadiums picked up speed nationwide after college football's Southeastern Conference relaxed rules around serving it during games in the late 2010s. Before then, just 20 schools had alcohol for public sale in their stadiums.

Some schools moved quickly to offer alcohol in the following years. Others, like the University of Michigan, are phasing in alcohol sales at other collegiate stadiums before opening the taps for football fans.

While stadium offers still don't typically compete with the prices fans pay for their tailgate beers, sales have nonetheless become a new revenue stream for athletic programs, sometimes bringing in millions of dollars in an athletic year.