PISCATAWAY, N.J. (February 20, 2019) – Rutgers Athletics today announced that it will expand beer and wine sales at department-managed venues beginning in the fall of 2019. Revenues from the sales will serve to off-set scholarship costs, which support the State University of New Jersey’s more than 600 student-athletes and exceed $16 million annually.
“This decision was the result of a year-long review of the experience and data from across the college landscape,” said Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. “Universities have seen a dramatic drop in alcohol related incidents on game day by providing a controlled environment for beer and wine sales. We will work closely with RUPD to achieve similar results at Rutgers.”
The expansion of beer and wine sales was vetted and supported by the Rutgers University Senate, as well as other key internal groups.
“Data from peer institutions shows a correlation between a decrease in alcohol-related incidents when a venue provides a controlled environment for beer and wine sales,” said Rutgers University Chief of Police Kenneth Cop. “The RUPD will continue to be vigorous in working with Rutgers Athletics to promote public safety at athletic events and expects attendees to respect all applicable laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable game day experience.”
Rutgers Athletics has begun the request for proposal (RFP) process to partner with a new food services provider. The new provider will secure the required licenses to serve alcohol at the designated venues for Rutgers and third-party events.
Rutgers currently serves alcohol at premium seating locations at HighPoint.com Stadium and in hospitality areas at the Rutgers Athletics Center (RAC). This past football season, a brewfest was staged inside Athlete’s Glen and was met with positive reviews from fans and the University community.
“This is part of a broader effort to improve the overall fan experience in the years ahead, from concessions to apparel sales,” said Hobbs. “We want our venues to be the destination for our fans here in New Jersey and across the New York metropolitan area.”
The expansion will include general seating areas for events at HighPoint.com Stadium, the RAC, Yurcak Field, as well as at baseball and softball games.
Division I universities are permitting alcohol sales with greater frequency inside athletics venues. A recent peer review revealed that 51 of the 129 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision programs allowed in-stadium alcohol sales to the general public. In addition, the NCAA Executive Council recently approved alcohol sales at NCAA Championship events.
State excise laws will be followed and the below policies will be among those enforced as part of a complete alcohol management plan:
- Valid I.D. is required for purchase. All guests must be 21 years of age to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
- There is a two alcoholic beverage limit, per person, per transaction. Sales will be cut-off at designated times that are pre-determined.
- All game and event staff management will be required to complete alcohol management training. Trained security staff will serve as alcohol monitors in venue and at points of sale.
- Venues will employ designated alcohol-free zones.