Beer at the 'War' a good idea for UW

Jul 11, 2017 By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

If you have been to a University of Wyoming football or basketball game, you've probably heard and, perhaps, sung along with the Western Thunder Marching Band to this tune:

"In heaven there is no beer.

That's why we drink it here (Right Here!)

and when we're gone from here,

our friends will be drinking all our beer!"

In seasons past, of course, all the beer drinking that students and fans were referring to in their rendition of the "Beer Song" was done outside of War Memorial Stadium (wink, wink).

But the university is looking to enhance fans' overall experience at Cowboy games and believes other universities have experienced an improved atmosphere from offering alcoholic beverages for sale in stadiums and arenas across the country.

So beginning this fall, Wyoming Cowboy fans of age will be able to purchase and legally consume beer and wine at home football and basketball games.

Wyoming administrators want fans in the stadium earlier, up to two hours before kickoff, which is when beer and wine sales will commence and, it is hoped, spice up the pre-game prep.

The trend of selling alcohol at college sporting events will grow over the next few years, many experts predict, as universities look to add additional revenue for athletic departments.

But, until the state's recent budget crunch hit UW's athletic department, selling beer and wine to general admission fans (it's been available to fans in the Wildcatter suites at the War for several seasons) wasn't on Wyoming's radar.

"We have not actively discussed with our campus administration serving beer in our venues," athletic director Tom Burman said in 2014.

"We understand this is something some schools have added recently, but at this time I don't see that as an option at the University of Wyoming."

Times change, and the university hopes to add a few hundred thousand beer bucks to its athletic budget.

And why not?

An added benefit, according to UW's athletic department, will be the creation of a more responsible drinking environment, a reduction in binge drinking, and a reduction in alcohol smuggled into the stadium.

Now the burden will be on the university to make sure those worthy goals are reached while enhancing budgets when new revenue sources are desperately needed.

Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!