NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — ODU is now selling beer and wine to the general public at basketball games, and considering alcohol sales next season for football.
ODU is calling it a “pilot study.” There was a soft opening for beer and wine sales during the men’s hoops game vs. Longwood after Thanksgiving, which ODU says went well.
“We think it will help boost ticket sales,” said Athletic Director Wood Selig. “… it’s something our fans have been requesting for years.”
Several other in-state programs had already introduced beer/wine to the general public in recent years, including UVA, JMU, Virginia Tech and VCU. UVA and Virginia Tech starting this year at football games.
Alcohol had been available in the past for Big Blue Room club members and those in suites, but wasn’t available on the general concourse. Liquor will still only be available at the club/suite level.
Fans will be limited to two drinks per person, and sales cut off with 10 minutes to in the second half for men’s games and at the end of the third quarter for women’s games.
If things go well, expect a similar model at football games in the fall. While they emphasized that this is a “cautious approach,” ODU officials pointed to data that shows beer sales at games has actually led to a large drop in alcohol-related fan ejections at other schools, with the belief that beer/wine sales inside might lead to less binge drinking outside in the parking lot before the game.
The men’s team has a big time game on Saturday at 8 p.m. when rival VCU comes to town. Tickets were still available as of Thursday morning.