Picture this: the roar of the crowd, the excitement in the air, and a drink in hand. Colleges and universities are embracing alcohol sales at sporting events, but it comes with challenges. While alcohol consumption at sporting events is not a new phenomenon, alcohol sales at events create liabilities for universities and other venues.
The Perils of Overindulgence at Sporting Events
According to a 2011 study published in the Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research journal, 8% of football and baseball fans departed stadiums legally intoxicated. Additionally, a Vegas Insider survey found that the fans of 25 National Collegiate Athletic Association teams have about three drinks per game.
Three or four drinks can put some people above the legal limit. If someone were to get behind the wheel and cause injuries or damages, the venue, vendor, or owner that provided the drinks could be found negligent for the “overservice” of alcohol and held responsible. The legal implications should prompt organizations and event coordinators to prioritize a reliably consistent solution to the liability for alcohol at event venues.
There are also tangential risks to serving alcohol at large events, which the provider also must plan for. Studies show that alcohol is linked to aggression: Too many drinks can exacerbate rowdy, disruptive behavior. Should someone, for example, spill a drink on the wrong patron, it could easily result in a fight.
How to Not Overserve Alcohol at Events
Can an event center refuse to allow alcohol consumption or at least prevent the overconsumption of alcohol? It can be challenging for many venues, particularly ones that draw thousands of people. It’s nearly impossible to monitor everyone. Of course, limiting the availability of alcohol is always an option, either by reducing the number of vendors selling alcohol or decreasing the length of time alcohol is served. Limiting the number of beverages served to each individual can also help, but how do venues ensure that people abide by restrictions? They could always go to another concession booth or vendor — unless the venue relies on technology.
Some of the benefits of utilizing technology include the ability to:
- Effortlessly monitor alcohol consumption.
- Prevent overindulgence with ease.
- Enhance the safety of your venue.
Empowering Responsible Service With Technology
Technology solutions can now flag IDs and limit alcohol consumption at sporting events and other venues. Modern solutions like Intellicheck allow vendors to scan each ID with no downtime. If someone appears to be intoxicated, the vendor can flag that individual. When flagged, the next time the ID is scanned at that venue, the system will alert the server not to serve the person. For the rest of the event, they can no longer buy alcohol — regardless of the vendor, concession booth, or seller they visit. The technology is mobile, so even employees selling drinks in the stands will know who is on the do-not-serve list.
A University’s Success Story: Tackling Overdrinking
In 2022, a well-known university recently decided to serve alcohol at its events and prohibit the ability to tailgate. To curb alcohol-related incidents, it implemented Intellicheck to keep its patrons safe. With Intellicheck’s technology solution, it has successfully mitigated the issue of overdrinking while significantly reducing the number of alcohol-related incidents on its premises.
At the end of the day, venues must protect themselves. Technology can provide the controls they need when large events roll around. It also takes the onus off employees to cut people off. Sure, someone must first make the determination. After that, however, the system will handle who can still purchase and which patrons are done.