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Sandy Barbour Seeks Support to Sell Alcohol at Athletic Facilities

by on February 25, 2016 2:15 PM
University Park, PA

Sandy Barbour wants Penn State to vastly expand its sale of alcohol in intercollegiate athletics facilities.

"For a variety of different factors, what we are seeking is support for acquisition of liquor licenses in order to serve and/or sell alcoholic beverages in Penn State intercollegiate athletic facilities under certain conditions," she said.

Those conditions include that there wouldn't be public sale during athletic events -- meaning that alcohol sales would be limited to private or controlled areas like suites. Barbour also wants public sales in ICA facilities for non-athletic events.

"We’re not talking about public sale for ICA events and we’re not talking about targeting students," Barbour said, stressing that the non-ICA events either wouldn't be in the typical student price range or would take place when school isn't in session.

Barbour specifically cited the Winter Classic, the annual outdoor NHL game that has been tied to Beaver Stadium rumors for years, as an example of a non-ICA event at Beaver Stadium that could include alcohol sales. Because this game takes place in January, during Penn State's winter break, it wouldn't be a student-geared event.

She added that Penn State had gotten very far in talks with the NHL regarding the Winter Classic previously, but couldn't go forward because of the state of Beaver Stadium.

Barbour said that there are "two buckets of reasons" that prompted her to ask for this liquor license and the expansion of alcohol sales at ICA events. The first is fan experience and hospitality. 

"We do have premium seating, suite areas, club seat areas, where that sometimes becomes the expectation," Barbour said.

The "second bucket" Barbour mentioned is marketplace and competitiveness, meaning that it would help Penn State stay competitive among intercollegiate athletics organizations. She said that it would help Penn State's 31 programs maintain their self-supporting status as an athletic department.

Here's a breakdown of the three types of alcohol sales Barbour is requesting that the board move forward with:

- Controlled areas only (suites, hospitality areas, clubs) at ICA events

- Point of sale at golf course (snack bar and course cart)

- Public sale at non-ICA events (professional sports, international sports, concerts) 

No specific policy or proposal was voted on by the Committee of Legal and Compliance, but they seemed to support Barbour moving forward with the efforts.

Zach Berger is the managing editor of He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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