Jul 02, 2020
Fans gather to purchase alcohol at one of two new locations at Bulldog Stadium during the Fresno State football game on Sept. 2, 2017. Alcohol sales at Fresno State athletic events have been prohibited since 2006. (Alejandro Soto/ The Collegian)

Football fans enjoyed beer and a game

Besides a winning start to the season and the retirement of former Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr’s jersey, it was also the first time beer was sold at a home Fresno State football game since 2006.

The stadium was electric and attendance was high, with nearly 40,000 fans cheering on the Bulldogs.

The student section was particularly embracing the new beer sales policy. Many students expressed excitement for the upcoming season.

“People are more likely to come because of the atmosphere,” said Jared Hunt, a senior student at Fresno State, as he waited in the line at one of the beer gardens. “It makes it more enticing for people to come and drink and enjoy the happy vibe.”

The reintroduction of alcohol could enhance the atmosphere of the games and bring students back to the stadium, some sad.

But some visitors response held concerns. They feared could possibly result in an increase of drunken behavior.

“If people can behave correctly then it will be a positive thing, but if people are stupid and don’t handle it well then it could get bad,” said senior Grant Kenney.

The success of the new policy was evident. Lines at designated beer gardens grew before the game had even started.

Alcohol purchases were limited to a two drink minimum and patrons had the option of purchasing a 16 ounce domestic beer or a 12 ounce premium beer, both for $8 each.

A valid ID was required to obtain a wristband, allowing football fans to purchase beer at the two designated beer gardens at the southeast and northwest corners of the stadium.

“I think it’s going to have a great impact on the atmosphere for people of all ages,” said Rex Hime, a Fresno State alumnus. “Whether they graduated 20 years ago or go to school now, fans are able to come together over one thing, and that’s football.”

Indeed, students can now celebrate a touchdown with a sip of cold beer.

University officials emphasized in a news conference last week that they were focused on safety and maintaining the family-friendly atmosphere of athletic events.

The police and security throughout the stadium also monitored the crowds that filled the beer gardens throughout the game.

Law enforcement officers and security guards could not comment on the alcohol sales.

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