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Rutgers expanding beer, wine sales at select sporting events

By TOM CANAVANFebruary 20, 2019

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Rutgers will expand beer and wine sales at sporting events starting this fall.

The university says the sales will be increased at department-managed venues. The revenues will help offset the $16 million spent annually on scholarship costs for more than 600 student-athletes.

Rutgers is looking to partner with a new food services provider, which will secure the required licenses to serve alcohol at the designated venues for Rutgers and third-party events.

A recent peer review revealed 51 of the 129 NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision programs allowed in-stadium alcohol sales to the public, Rutgers said. It noted the NCAA Executive Council recently approved alcohol sales at NCAA Championship events.

Rutgers now serves alcohol at premium seating locations at HighPoint.com Stadium and in hospitality areas at the Rutgers Athletics Center.

“This decision was the result of a year-long review of the experience and data from across the college landscape,” Athletic Director Pat Hobbs said. “Universities have seen a dramatic drop in alcohol-related incidents on game day by providing a controlled environment for beer and wine sales.”

Hobbs said the expansion of beer and wine sales was vetted and supported by the university’s Senate and other key internal groups. He added the decision is part of an effort to improve the overall fan experience in the years ahead, from concessions to apparel sales.

“We want our venues to be the destination for our fans here in New Jersey and across the New York metropolitan area,” Hobbs said.

The beer and wine expansion will include general seating areas for football, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, wrestling, baseball and softball.

″(University police) will continue to be vigorous in working with Rutgers athletics to promote public safety at athletic events and expects attendees to respect all applicable laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable game day experience,” Rutgers Chief of Police Kenneth Cop said.

Patrons buying beer and wine must be at least 21 and will need valid identification. There will be a two alcoholic beverage limit, per person, per transaction. Sales will be cut off at designated times that are pre-determined.

All game and event staff management will be required to complete alcohol management training. Trained security staff will serve as alcohol monitors in venue and at points of sale.

Venues will employ designated alcohol-free zones.

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