In the eyes of many, game day is a holiday in Alabama. We all know what happens on those magical Saturdays: stores are closed, tents are built and buttons are worn. The party begins at the crack of dawn and never ends.
And why should it? We have the best football team in the country. So why in the world are people not going to the games as much? Even when they do attend, they often don’t stay the whole time. It does get hard when the Tide is demolishing the other team by halftime. But, there is another huge reason for this rising phenomenon: alcohol must be left behind when attending a game.
Many don’t like that option. After all, alcohol is an essential part of the game day experience, whether you like it or not. Students no longer want to leave the tailgate and be in the stadium. A four-hour sobering-up period in a boiling hot stadium is not appealing.
The University has noticed, and needless to say, they are not pleased.
You may have noticed the University has stepped up its game. New programs such as Tide Loyalty Points are rolling out, and the hope is that students will be incentivized to stay for all four quarters of the game. That would be great, but Crimson Tide fans want only one thing: the ability to buy beer inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Of course, there are VIP areas that allow alcohol, but this is a privilege enjoyed only by the elite. What about us peasants? We like alcohol, too.
Over the summer, the SEC decided to finally allow alcohol stadium-wide. When the decision hit Twitter, the fans rejoiced. The excitement did not last long, though. Shortly after the news, Alabama announced that Bryant-Denny would not sell alcohol. I firmly believe this was the wrong call.
Clearly, Alabama wants to continue to foster a family-friendly environment, but the reality is that the stadium holds thousands of drunk fans. Many have mastered the art of sneaking in booze – a testament to the sheer willpower of the fans to continue the party. But it comes with a nasty side effect. When fans sneak in secret flasks of liquor, there is an enormous number of alcohol-related incidents. The University can prevent this by having a controlled sale of alcohol.
Let’s face it, the University loves money. The Crimson Tide is the University’s very own license to print money. We know the University is, however, always looking for more ways to expand. Well, the answer is right here. We have already seen crazy results from schools like Ohio State and Texas, consisting of over $1.5 million in new revenue. And it is all because they decided to bite the bullet and sell booze.
Stadium attendance will rise. Fans will stay for all four. But most importantly, it will allow people to be safer than they have ever been. Game-day spirit will continue to thrive, but, if the University continues its rigid stance on alcohol, that will not happen. Instead, school spirit will wither away. It is time to adapt to changing values. Sell us booze.