CU expanding beer, wine sales at football games this season

BOULDER — Beer and wine sales will be expanded to general concourse areas at Folsom Field for University of Colorado football games this season.

Since 2014, beer and wine has been available at designated areas called beer gardens, and fans were prohibited from bringing drinks back to their seats. The university said that it has had a four-year track record of responsible behavior by vendors and fans, so it will add sales areas and allow fans to take alcoholic beverages back to their seats.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the fan experience. Being able to bring drinks back to the seating areas is a request we have heard for some time,” Rick George, CU’s athletic director, said in a prepared statement. “We wanted to do this in a phased approach to ensure responsible behavior and safety. We are also seeing many of our peers offer this amenity, so in some ways we are catching up to what’s becoming a more common practice at collegiate sporting events.”

The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs  and Colorado State University in Fort Collins offer public sales at football games. The Colorado campuses and universities in the Pac-12 Conference are among dozens of college football stadiums to offer beer and wine sales throughout the venue.

In recent weeks, Arizona and Oregon announced game-day enhancements for this season that include the expansion of beer and wine sales.

For CU, safety protocols that were in place with the previous beer gardens will continue to apply. Those include identification checks at every sale, a limit of one beverage per customer and ceasing sales at the end of third quarter. Vendors will be fixed in the concourse areas and not walk through the seating areas. Starting with the 2019 football season, re-entry will not be allowed.

“We want to provide enough time for our fans to hear the message and adapt to this new policy,” George said. “We’ll continue to remind fans that this will be the last season we allow re-entry.”

CU is adding the following operational changes:

Security crews will add walk-through metal detectors at the gates to speed up the entry process. Fans will not have to remove keys and phones, which will speed up entry into the facility. Security wanding will continue to be available for secondary screening, as needed.

The Indoor Practice Facility will no longer be open on game days. This move will allow easier ingress and egress in the Buff Walk area on the east side of the stadium. Unlike previous years, fans will be able to walk in the area between the stadium and Indoor Practice Facility to access entry gates.

The Chip’s Kids Club area will move to the lawn area south of the Benson Earth Sciences building.

As a reminder, events at Folsom Field and the CU Events Center have had a clear bag policy since the 2016-17 season. Only bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12-inches by 6-inches by 12-inches are permitted.

The CU Buffs will host six games at Folsom Field this year:

Saturday, Sept. 15 vs. New Hampshire (3 p.m.)

Friday, Sept. 28 vs. UCLA (7 p.m.)

Saturday, Oct. 6 vs. Arizona State (Time TBA)

Saturday, Oct. 27 vs. Oregon State (Time TBA)

Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. Washington State (Time TBA)

Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Utah (Time TBA)