The university should permit alcohol sales at baseball games.
Drinking and watching sports are synonymous. A jumbo ballpark hot dog, a bag of peanuts and a nice cold beer is what watching a baseball game is all about. It is the American tradition that the beautiful sport of baseball was built upon.
In fact, baseball was the first professional sport that permitted the sale of beer at the stadium. By preventing the sale of beer at baseball games, USC is taking away from the fans experience of the great game and its effect can be seen in the stands.
With proper restrictions, the sale of beer at USC baseball games will provide a safer, more involved atmosphere at the games. If this policy were implemented, not only would attendance increase but revenue would as well. An increase of revenue will further result in more funding for a better program, which USC is desperately in need of.
USC is traditionally a powerhouse school when it comes to baseball, producing professional athletes such as Mark McGwire, Randy Johnson and Barry Zito. Unfortunately, in the last few years the program has declined and simultaneously so has attendance. The administration is in the right by having concerns with serving beer at a college sport. Beyond the looming fear of students becoming intoxicated, the university also has to be concerned with parents drinking heavily, driving under the influence and an overall unsafe environment at the games.
If beer were to be sold in a controlled environment, however, these concerns would be eliminated. As with other universities, fans will be limited a certain number of beers. The University of Arizona only allows two cold ones at the time of purchase and has stopped allowing fans re-entry to prevent consumption outside of the stadium. A fact the university needs to accept is that fans are going to drink whether it is allowed or not.
A few weeks ago, the USC administration was faced with the task of voting upon this policy. Though it was close, USC ruled in favor of continuing to prohibit the sale of beer at USC baseball games. The ruling was disappointing not only to fans but to the players as well.
While USC fears it will encourage fans and students to drink heavily, West Virginia University implemented the sale of beer and projected an increase of $1 million in annual revenue that would directly funnel to the athletic program.
With a struggling coaching staff, mediocre recruiting classes and an overall crumbling program, USC baseball could use the extra funds. USC needs to let the great game be enjoyed the American way, the way we all know and love. A hot dog in one hand, a cold beer in the other and some crunched peanut shells beneath our feet.