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Alcohol to be sold at Husker men's and women's basketball for the next 2 years

Posted at 7:01 PM, Sep 30, 2022

KEARNEY, Neb. (KMTV) — For the time in possibly ever, Husker fans will be able to sit back, grab a beer and watch Husker men’s and women’s basketball.

This comes after the University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the two-year pilot project Friday that allows alcohol to be served at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln.

“Allowing people access in a responsible way, in a controlled environment, that’s one of the safest things we can do for our students and our communities,” said Tori Sims, student regent representing UNO.

NU President Ted Carter and multiple Regents indicated this was a thorough, well-thought-out process that drove them to allow alcohol at regular season Husker home basketball games for the first time in — at least —decades. NU told 3 News Now they believe alcohol has never been sold at Nebraska basketball home games.

One thing that made them confident, beer has been sold at UNO Maverick hockey games for years.

“We have not seen any behavior that is of concern at this point,” said Joanne Li, chancellor at UNO.

This comes in the same year that NU reversed a decades-long policy and allowed alcohol to be sold at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships last spring.

NU isn’t expected to make a large profit. The City of Lincoln gets 90% of the revenue, which Carter said is expected to be around $1 million total.

“So we’re not making money off of this,” said Carter in an interview with KMTV earlier in September.

Carter, instead, said it’s about enhancing the fan experience and there are a lot of fans that attend these games.

Nebraska men’s basketball is 10th in the nation for attendance with more than 290,000 fans attending games last year.

NU women’s basketball is 18th in the nation, with over 76,000 going to PBA in 2021-2022.

Regents said fans still have to be accountable and act like adults. That's something David Fulton, an alum who lives in western Nebraska, said did not happen when he attended the Garth Brooks concert at Memorial Stadium last year.

“It wasn’t a pretty picture. I was very glad that we had chosen not to take any of our grandchildren,” said Fulton.

Still, it was a unanimous vote.

“Think it’s wise to experiment to see what we can do there. By no means does this have anything to do with what’s going on with Memorial Stadium, that’s a whole separate issue with a whole different set of circumstances,” said Schafer.

So Husker football fans will have to wait to celebrate a touchdown or drown their sorrows.

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