When Ohio State announced its stadium-wide beer sales for the 2016 football season, its effect on alcohol-related incidents on gameday was a question. However, the policy change coincided with a major drop in overall alcohol-related incidents compared to previous seasons.
In the Buckeyes’ seven home games last season, University Police — in collaboration with the Ohio Investigative Unit, Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office — responded to 61 total incidents, compared to 175 in 2015 and 269 total incidents in 2014, based on records obtained by The Lantern.
The Department of Athletics and University Police spoke to officials at other universities that instituted in-stadium alcohol sales to gauge the results Ohio State might have if adopting a similar policy, said University Police Chief Craig Stone. They found that universities with in-stadium sales had less incidents year to year than the years without in-stadium sales, which led to their adoption of the stadium-wide policy in 2016.
For the 2016 season, the Department of Public Safety recorded 26 arrests inside the stadium, 25 ejections, six arrests outside the stadium and four citations. In 2015, when alcohol was sold exclusively to fans at the suite and club level, there were a total of 85 ejections, 18 in-stadium arrests, seven out-of-stadium arrests and 65 citations.