The University of Oregon announced on Thursday that they will be making a number of policy changes to improve experiences for fans at Autzen Stadium during the 2018 football season, including expanding the sale of alcohol to more venues.
The changes include in-stadium beer and wine sales expanding to general concession areas, the stadium parking lot being open two hours earlier on game days, a clear bag policy to speed up and improve security checks, and the elimination of stadium re-entry for fans who leave Autzen at any time during a game.
In past football seasons, stadium alcohol sales have been limited to the Moshofsky Center and the Club at Autzen. In 2018, alcohol sales will expand to include the general concession areas, but will still be unavailable in student sections.
To combat underage drinking and overconsumption of alcohol, alcohol sales by “trained and licensed servers will provide more control over alcohol consumption and serve as deterrents to overconsumption.”
Additionally, more game day alcohol monitors will be hired to help with these issues. In a written response, Jimmy Stanton of the UO athletic department stated that they will be “more than tripling the amount of monitors in the stadium on game days, from around 30 to more than 100.”
The decision to eliminate re-entry to football games is also aimed at reducing overconsumption of alcohol. According to UOPD Chief Matt Carmichael, fans who exit Autzen at half-time in order to binge drink tend to cause problems when they return.
“They often return to the stadium and have the intoxication effects really hit them in the second half,” Carmichael said. “This leads to unruly behavior and medical issues that can easily be avoided.”
Stadium parking lots will now be open to the public six hours prior to kickoff, an increase of two hours from previous seasons. UO hopes that this will improve fans’ experiences by easing traffic congestion during game days.
Both the expanded parking lot hours and alcohol sales are part of a one-year pilot program for the 2018 football season.
Note: This article was updated on Thursday at 4:09 p.m. to include the statement from Jimmy Stanton.