By Nick Hadley
Chair, UMCP Athletic Council
Department of Physics
In the spring of 2014, University of Maryland student leaders requested that the sale of alcohol at Maryland Athletic events to persons of legal age be permitted. The Athletic Council studied the issue during the 2014-2015 academic year and, in the spring of 2015, voted to recommend that the sale of alcoholic beverages at University of Maryland Athletic events be permitted.
After consultation with the University community, this recommendation received the support of President Loh.
Eventually a proposal by the University to allow such sales was also supported by the College Park City Council. The proposal was approved by the Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners. This approval was provisional for a one-year trial followed by an assessment of impact.
This Athletic Council’s spring 2015 recommendation was made also provisionally with a review to occur in spring 2016. A Task Force chaired by John Zacker collected and summarized data on the sale of alcoholic beverages at Maryland football and basketball games in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016. (I have attached the report to this email.)
The Athletic Council discussed this report at its April 26 and May 23rd meetings. As stated in the report, “there seems to be little data to indicate that the sale of alcohol in either Maryland Stadium or Xfinity Center contributed to an increase in negative consequences. Overall, arrests, student disciplinary referrals, medical transports, and fake IDs did not increase and in fact many data elements actually decreased.”
Accordingly at its May 23rd meeting the Athletic Council voted unanimously to recommend to President Loh and Athletic Director Anderson the continuation of alcohol beverage sales at athletics venues. The Council also requested an annual report on such sales for its review.
Please note that the Athletic Council is an advisory body. The Prince George’s County Board of License Commissioners has approved such sales for the coming year.