The University of Texas decided recently to sell beer at home football games, becoming the third Big 12 school (Kansas State, West Virginia) with a “wet” stadium. We asked readers last week if Iowa State and Iowa should allow alcohol sales at athletic events:
I go to a couple Iowa games a year. Glad they don’t sell beer. But plenty is consumed. The trash cans are full of empty miniatures.
I also go to a lot of University of Houston football games. They sell beer/margaritas. Pretty laid-back scene. But its a different level. There’s 15,000 or 20,000 there, not 70,000. I have never seen a problem there.
I personally would oppose selling beer at Iowa games.
— Mark Leiserowitz, Houston
Since I do not drink, it personally doesn’t matter to me. But I found it interesting last year when we attended the Iowa vs. Minnesota game and were sitting next to a group of people enjoy a beer and a glass of wine. The fans were very responsible, and we didn’t witness any problems. My son couldn’t believe it and thought it was a Big Ten ruling that alcohol could not be sold at sporting events.
So when I got home, I looked it up on the Internet and discovered it was up to the governor of the state who decides if alcohol can be sold at college sporting events.
In Ames and Iowa City stadiums — and I imagine they have the same rules — if you have a box or a suite, you are allowed to have beer and wine. So that brings up the question: It is a matter of the Haves and Have Nots in the stadiums in Ames and Iowa City?
— Jack Hobbs, Iowa City
With the average age of alums creeping up, maybe a Geritol franchise would be better. Have you seen how steep those stairs are — or how narrow the seats? Can’t imagine how standing longer in a restroom line would help me appreciate the game more. Guess I could watch on BTN2go on my iPhone while waiting behind some other fan for $12 worth of 3.2 foam.
— Gerry Ott, Ankeny
It is extremely two-faced for universities to make the money they do without paying athletes and then be sanctimonious about restricting liquor sales.
Who knows, it may cut down on students’ perceived need to load up prior to the game if they could drink responsibly over a longer period of time … And provide money to pay athletes at least an allowance.
— Tom Buch, Denver (originally from Clarinda)
The atmospheres in Ames and Iowa City couldn’t be more different. Ames is family-friendly without stumbling drunks and beer cans smashed all over the ground; in part because the tailgating is held in designated university parking areas. Compared to Ames, Iowa City is much worse, in part because a considerable amount of parking and tailgating is held in the front and back yards in the University Heights neighborhood surrounding Kinnick Stadium.
I don’t believe selling liquor at Kinnick will reduce binge drinking. I don’t think Iowa State fans even care whether beer or wine is sold at Jack Trice stadium. I also think that the U of I’s decision to allow beer and wine in the private suites at Kinnick, but not offering the same for others attending the game, reinforces that college football is all about money. If you can afford a suite, you get to drink. If you can’t afford a suite, you can’t drink.
— Scott Stines, Cedar Rapids
Good grief! Doesn’t anyone remember going to football games in Iowa City and being surrounded by drunks? Or, how about having one throw up down your back?
The ban on alcohol in the stadium (it’s still smuggled in) was the smartest thing the University of Iowa ever did.
If alcohol is allowed back into the stadiums, you will be right back to “the good old days.”
— Jane Morrison, Newton
I am glad to respond to your question on beer at college stadiums. I have been going to all home games at Kinnick Stadium for about 30 years, and remember well when beer was permitted. The result was at least one or more loud, obnoxious, vulgar irritators in any section you could go to.
After beer and alcohol were banned, the whole atmosphere improved dramatically.
This experiment has been done, and no beer wins.
— Gordon Sandman, Belmond
Editor’s note: In regards to two submitted letters, the Register checked with University of Iowa officials regarding alcohol policies at Kinnick Stadium. Officials were not aware of a time when alcohol was permitted inside the stadium. However, security has increased over the years.