Wichita State considers beer sales at Koch Arena, other athletic venues – Wichita Eagle

Wichita State University fans may be able to drink a toast to the American Athletic Conference at all home games, matches and tournaments.

WSU athletic director Darron Boatright said he made a request to sell 3.2 beer at athletic events to university president John Bardo. The request comes as Bardo is evaluating the campus alcohol policy with hotels and restaurants under consideration for the university’s Innovation Campus.

“I believe it’s at a stage where a decision will be made soon,” Boatright said. “The request I’ve made is for all athletic facilities. I would be interested in offering consistent concession stands at all of our events, if possible.”

Beer and alcohol sales at college sports events is no longer a rarity. Boatright’s request would bring the rest of WSU’s athletic events in line with baseball at Eck Stadium for beer sales. It would also bring WSU up to date in comparison with most schools in the American Athletic Conference.

“It is under review, but no action has been taken,” Lou Heldman, vice president for strategic communication, said in an e-mail.

The constant search for money and the competition with professional sports, where alcohol sales are uniformly allowed, leads schools to add to their concession offerings. While Boatright declined to share specific research about potential revenue, he said it could significantly help a department that is taking on expenses with its move to the American.

“The consumer wants it,” he said. “It could be a revenue stream that we have not had, at a time when we need a new revenue source. We believe it could open up a revenue stream in excess of six figures, annually.”

Beer sales were allowed at Wichita State’s Eck Stadium beginning in 1989 — to take advantage of a large crowd headed to a baseball game

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