LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — The University of Nebraska Board of Regents opened the door to allowing alcohol at Husker, Maverick and Loper sporting events in the future.
“This gives us the opportunity to control it, that’s what I’m in favor of," said Regent Tim Clare.
The vote was unanimous on Friday, reversing a 1999 policy that banned booze at athletic events.
NU President Ted Carter said it was about a consistent approach, pointing to UNO Maverick hockey and basketball games, where booze is sold inside Baxter Arena.
Alcohol was also sold at the Garth Brooks in Memorial Stadium, last summer.
“What this proposal will do is create consistency and flexibility for us to move forward when and if we decide to do so,” said Carter.
While no Regents disagreed, the board did get opposition from Chris Wagner with Project Extra Mile, who said student binge drinking has dropped by over 25% since the early 1990s.
“You will also see growth in underage drinking. You will also see growth in alcohol-related crashes in the community,” said Wagner.
Wagner said selling booze at games with more than 80,000 people makes it tough to identify minors drinking in stands.
“Where it’s almost impossible to monitor whether or not they pass it off to minors in attendance,” said Wagner.
President Carter said they’ll only allow alcohol if he, the university chancellors and the Board of Regents all agree selling booze makes sense financially, is in the best interest of fans and the university, and they have safety protocols in place.
The regents agreed. Tim Clare said they can use the extra money to help with the extra issues alcohol brings.
“I’d like to see some of the proceeds to be used to help curb binge drinking, so I think there’s a lot of questions that are not answered,” said Clare.
After this vote, the NU Regents voted to exercise the new policy, allowing alcohol sales at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Pinnacle Bank Arena in March.
“I’m a firm believer in treating adults as adults. Let them make their own decisions,” said Regent Robert Schafer.
Allowing booze at games may be a slow process as President Carter said on Friday that alcohol will not be sold at Husker football games this fall.
This comes shortly after the UNL Athletic Department sent out a fan survey, in which allowing alcohol at games was a focus of multiple questions.
Nebraska Regents are minutes/hours away from voting on the first steps of allowing alcohol at Nebraska athletics events.— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) February 11, 2022
I’ll be updating this thread as info comes in: pic.twitter.com/JrCqMKyCYa
They will soon vote on the next step of this: Allowing alcohol at the Big 10 Wrestling Championships in Lincoln. https://t.co/TjotTJhGR5— Jon Kipper (@jonnykip21) February 11, 2022