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University of Illinois to sell beer at sporting events

The University of Illinois announced this week it will join the rowing number of major universities in the United States to sell beer at sporting events.

Beer sales will be permitted in Memorial Stadium and State Farm Center beginning in the fall of 2019. The Decatur Herald Review reports that Illinois is now one of 50 programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision to permit beer sale at home games. Six of the Big Ten’s 14 programs now permit alcohol sales at home games.

University of Illinois director of athletics Josh Whitman said in a media release that “the opportunity to purchase beer at our events was the number one request in a post-season survey of our football ticket holders. Fans indicated beer sales would encourage their use of purchased tickets and would increase the length of time they stayed in the stands.

“Schools with public beer sales generally see fewer alcohol-related issues. We have spoken with several peer institutions offering beer to ensure we are following best practices for implementing this change.”