If the Texas State athletics department has to encourage drinking to improve game attendance, they are not doing their jobs correctly.
Alcohol will be available for purchase at Bobcat softball and baseball games starting Feb. 12. University officials will use the softball and baseball seasons to determine whether or not the beverage should be sold at later sporting events, like football games. The hope is to increase revenue and attendance through the sale of alcohol.
Sure, allowing the sale of alcohol at games may increase attendance, but it may also end up costing fans and drivers alike.
Students currently attend games because they enjoy the sport. Allowing throngs of people to drink in the stadium will do nothing but distract from the actual purpose of attendance: watching the game. Drinking can cause fights, issues and messes that fans should not have to deal with.
Bobcats go to sporting events to see players succeed at the sport they have dedicated themselves to, not to get an expensive generic beer people can get anywhere else in San Marcos. Testing the sale of alcohol at baseball and softball games is an entirely different situation than allowing alcohol at a football game. Less people attend these games on average, so trying it out here seems like a good enough plan on paper, but it’s hard to say whether or not this will be a good practice for more popular sports.
Let’s face it, Texas is the land of football. Although it’s attendance is not exceptional, football games are definitely Texas State’s most popular sporting events, and with that comes more tailgating.
Tailgating is infamously known as a time to get together before the game and, for many, drink as if the world is ending. It’s fun and exciting, but also exceedingly loud and messy. Adding the noise and messiness of college drinking to sporting events sounds like a recipe for disaster. Alcohol consumption should stay at tailgate.
One of the benefits of not allowing alcohol at sporting events is the game’s time serves as a buffer between drinking and driving. Without the 2 to 3 hour long wait during the game, people have much less time to sober up or find a safe ride home, increasing the possibility for drunken driving.
If Texas State’s only purpose is to increase attendance while making a little side cash, perhaps it should allow the consumption of alcohol in the classroom. That would definitely increase attendance with no negative side effects.
The problem with attendance is not the lack of alcohol served during the game. There may be an initial spike in attendance with the sale of alcohol, but it will dwindle once the novelty of buying a beer on campus wears off. The only way to improve attendance in the long run is to advertise each game properly, get coaches to keep their players in shape and more importantly, win.