With the new season of Fresno State football officially underway, facilities management personnel at Bulldog Stadium are preparing for another year of passionate fans and successful concessions sales.
The 2017 football season marked the first time since 2006 that beer was served at a Fresno State football game. The change brought about a $100,000 increase in net concessions sales over the previous season, according to Paul Ladwig, senior associate athletics director for external communications.
Thanks to the additional alcohol revenue, the 2017 concessions sales reached a net total of $145,000, a number Ladwig expects to beat this year.
“The response has been very positive,” Ladwig told The Collegian recently. “Fans have responsibly embraced the new policy, and incidents involving alcohol did not rise at all … at this time there is no reason to reconsider the sale of alcohol at the game.”
Ladwig also said that security personnel with experience in venues that serve alcohol, along with watchful monitoring, has prevented negative alcohol-related incidents.
Since the restriction of beer sales was lifted last year, fans can purchase the alcoholic beverage within the stadium, but only in one of the three designated beer gardens.
Greg WIlliams, who manages a beer stand at one of the stadium’s beer gardens, has worked at Bulldog events for the past two decades and said that keeping the beer sales in a separate location from the food concession stands has reduced the “opportunity for over-consumption.”
“When there wasn’t alcohol inside the stadium, everyone tried to consume as much as possible before they entered,” Williams said. “It’s a much better crowd than what we had before when there was no beer. It’s kind of reverse logic from what you would think.”
Other changes around Bulldog Stadium that kicked off this semester include new handrails in the Red Seat section on the east side of the stadium, the only section of seats that did not yet have handrails, according to Ladwig.
The disabled seating areas on the west side of the stadium have also been improved by adjusting the slope and accessibility to better accommodate the fans there.
A leaky pipe which had caused a section of stairs to crack has also been fixed, and the crack in the concrete has been repaired.
At this time, all the facilities at the stadium are operational and fully functioning, according to Ladwig. He added that facilities staff are conducting preventive maintenance checks to keep the stadium running smoothly.