The Associated Student Government passed a resolution Monday night that would start a pilot program allowing the sale of beer during football games for the 2013 season.
Texas State’s current athletic league, the Southland Conference, prohibits the sale of alcohol at sporting events. However, Bobcat athletics is moving to the Western Athletic Conference this summer, which does allow the sale of alcohol.
The resolution calls for at least one-fourth of the profit collected by alcohol sales to be allocated to a safe-ride program, similar to the Students with Alternative Transportation (SWAT) program, which was disbanded in the fall of 2009.
The resolution states funds should be given to provide for additional police officers at games, and for a communication system allowing fans to report “any incidents that may occur.”
The resolution’s author,Sen. David Blanch, has been working on the proposal since last fall. He said his main motivation was to encourage students to attend football games.
“Tailgate will still be a big thing. But in the same regard, people (would start) coming to the games,” he said. “Some people look at it as tailgate Saturday and don’t go to the game. In my proposal, that’s one of the keys as to why I think this needs implementation."
Larry Teis, athletic director, said the president’s cabinet, which includes top administrative figures such as the provost and vice presidents, has not discussed the issue yet. He said it “would be premature to speculate on the outcome.”
According to Blanch’s research, Texas State had an average attendance of 15,106 at football games last year, more than 5,000 fewer than the average WAC member.
“I truly think this will assist our football program and I don’t think there’s a better time to do it than this transition phase,” he said. “We can play it by ear and make it work. There are schools that make it work.”
According to the memorandum, former and current WAC universities that sell alcohol at sporting events include UTSA, University of Nevada-Reno and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. UTSA plays its home games at the Alamodome, which the university does not own.
Blanch said he encountered hesitation from school officials and believes some administrators still fear a “party school” reputation.
“There’s an unknown factor,” he said. “You have to look at the liabilities and added risk. We’re picking up steam academically, shedding this party image. I would think they are hesitant because perception-wise this might backtrack, and that’s not what they’re looking for.”
Blanch said students are essentially shareholders for Bobcat sports, as they pay more than 50 percent of the athletic budget. Students paid $11,818,000 to Bobcat sports last year, according to the Athletic Budget for Fiscal Year 2012.
The resolution states beer will not be sold beyond the fourth quarter, and that wristbands will be provided to alleviate lines at concession stands. The proposed sale of alcohol is for Bobcat Stadium only, as attendence is not an issue at sports like baseball, Blanch said.
“I would love to see it at all sporting events,” he said. “But the reason to do this is not because I want to enjoy myself. I think all the momentum is behind football and that’s where we need the help.”
Blanch said his requests for meetings with President Trauth and Teis have gone unanswered. However, he is hopeful the resolution will be approved by Kathy Weiser, assistant dean of students, and Margarita Arellano, dean of students.
“If it doesn’t pass this year, we have it in motion,” Sen. Adam Brass said. “I’m definitely looking on the positive side. The benefits, I think, outweigh any negatives.”