You are hereDoes alcohol have a positive effect on college football?
Does alcohol have a positive effect on college football?
ALCOHOL AT FOLSOM
It’s no secret alcohol plays a role in pre-game activities for many college students. Many say they cheer harder and louder when intoxicated. Rumors have surfaced recently about the possibility of alcohol making a return to Folsom Stadium, but Athletic Director Mike Bohn told me this is simply not true.
The University banned alcohol from Folsom Field for a test run in 1996, making it a permanent ban in 1998. Police cited too many issues with intoxicated fans as the reasoning, including couch burnings and riots on the hill. The school had a large party reputation throughout the 90’s, and school administrators wanted to put this image to rest.
By keeping alcohol away from the football games, the school hoped to create a family-friendly environment, predicting no negative side effects for the team on the field. The year the ban went into effect however, the school had spent 97 straight weeks ranked in the top 25 nationally. Since the ban in 1996, the longest streak the school has sustained in the top 25 polls is 8 weeks, back in 2002. It’s completely speculative to say the team has suffered by not having fans purchase beer at the stadium, but it is an interesting coincidence.
Even with the ban, students still regularly attend games after drinking beforehand. The CU police department works closely with security to provide uniformed and undercover officers throughout the day on Saturdays. Officers patrol the parking lots, entrance gates, and also seating areas inside the stadium, looking for anyone who might be obtrusive to another fan enjoying the game.
CU Police Commander Robert Axmacher had this to say about the role the University plays in keeping students under control at the games.
“We do need to take things seriously, those folks who are excessively intoxicated or otherwise disruptive, we need to remove them or keep them from getting into the environment, for the enjoyment of the rest of the fans there.”
I asked Commander Axmacher whether alcohol genuinely helped the fans energy level, and he had this to say:
“Alcohol is not a prerequisite to provide that 12th man advantage. you don’t need alcohol to cheer, you don’t need alcohol to root for your team or stomp your feet, and anyone who says that it’s a prerequisite I probably disagree with.”
It’s impossible to know the full impact alcohol plays on the atmosphere at Folsom Field on a given Saturday, but one thing’s for sure. The school will not be allowing beer at Folsom Field any time soon, no matter how many fans claim it helps them cheer harder.