Full strength beer sales permitted at CSU games

Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 19:55:47-05

Colorado State University fans will be able to buy full strength beer at football games at Hughes Stadium this coming fall. 

A vote Tuesday by the Larimer County Board of Commissioners gave CSU a full-scale liquor license for the stadium.

CSU athletic director Joe Parker said the move will provide fans with a wider array of beer choices at the game.

Parker said the CSU Athletic Department first starting thinking about upgrading their liquor license for the concourse area of the stadium last year.

Up until now, CSU has only been allowed to sell 3.2 ABV beer in the concourse areas of the stadium.  The suite areas had a full liquor license and currently sells beer, wine and hard alcohol.

Parker says there is no intention of selling wine or hard alcohol in the stadium bowl.

County Commissioner Lew Galter III tells Denver7, he feels CSU is taking the right approach.

“They've done a really good job, I think CSU has taken a pretty responsible approach and in some ways, I think it's a little overdue,” said Galter.

Students we spoke with said because craft beer is such a big part of the culture in Fort Collins and the University has had to bounce back from binge drinking deaths in the past, there is an increased awareness among students when it comes to drinking to excess.

“You enjoy being in the sports atmosphere where you are going to drink the beer and drink it to have fun, but you're not going to excessively drink it as if you're trying to get plastered," said Briana Medina, who’s a CSU student.

Still, the move concerns other students because of the stadium’s proximity to the rest of Fort Collins.

“I feel that could kind of pose an issue with driving back from the game, because students are going to probably consume more than they think they can handle,” said Shawn Smith, who’s a sophomore at CSU.

Substance abuse and prevention experts tell Denver7, their concern isn’t with the strength of the beer sold at games.  They say preventing binge drinking among college students starts long before kickoff on Saturdays.

“It's been a while since we've had major problems at the football games themselves, so I don't know that the change in alcohol content will really have an impact on the change inside the stadium," said Gordon Coombes, Executive Director of Team Wellness and Prevention.

The move by county commissioners will only last through the 2016 season, because the stadium will move on campus and into the city in 2017, forcing the University to repeat the process before the Fort Collins City Council.


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