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Ohio State not interested in selling alcohol in Ohio Stadium

OSU officials aren't planning to allow alcohol to be sold in Ohio Stadium, despite having a permit to do so. Credit: Madison Curtis / Managing editor of design

OSU officials aren’t planning on allowing alcohol sales in Ohio Stadium, despite having a permit to do so.
Credit: Madison Curtis / Managing editor of design

Those looking to get a buzz at Ohio State football games this year might be disappointed — though OSU has the license to sell alcohol at its stadium, officials aren’t discussing starting alcohol sales.

OSU vice president and athletic director Gene Smith said in a July interview with The Lantern that he likely won’t push for alcohol to be sold at Ohio Stadium, either.

“I haven’t proposed it, and probably won’t,” Smith said. “Don’t feel we need to. We have great tailgating, phenomenal tailgating, not just around the stadium, but all throughout Central Ohio and Columbus.”

OSU received a liquor license in 2002 under Sodexho, the athletic-venue food provider at the time. In March 2013, OSU switched providers to Levy Restaurants.

Under the new provider, alcohol is permitted everywhere in the Ohio Stadium except the locker rooms, said Matt Mullins, Ohio Department of Liquor Control spokesman.

But OSU spokesman Chris Davey said in a Monday email the Board of Trustees’ agenda for the coming year doesn’t include a discussion of stadium alcohol sales.

Currently, beer and wine can be served at the Schottenstein Center during OSU athletic events to those sitting at the Huntington Club level suites and in the Board Room. During non-athletic events, alcohol can be served through the entire facility.

Some colleges and universities, including Southern Methodist University, West Virginia University and the University of Texas. sell alcohol at athletic events.

At SMU, legally-aged students must present their ID upon entering the game if they wish to purchase alcohol. If of age, they then receive a bracelet with three tabs. A tab is removed per beer purchase. Students are refused service if they try for a fourth.

Non-student attendees are limited to one beer per ID per visit to the concession stand.

Some OSU students said they would like to see alcohol sold at the Horseshoe.

“I think beer sales at Ohio Stadium would be great,” said Tim Jessberger, a fourth-year in marketing. “I don’t think it would impact the stadium’s environment that much because students and regular patrons alike go to the home games intoxicated and or sneak alcohol into the games.”

Others agreed with Jessberger.

“It would be appreciated by many fans if they did,” said Jordan Stacy, a second-year in agriculture communication. “It would also probably boost profits for Ohio State if they chose to sell alcohol.

“I don’t see it being a positive or negative effect. If people of legal age had access to alcohol in the stadium, it could potentially prevent the copious amount of consumption prior to arriving.”

Tim Moody contributed to this article.


  1. On Game Day, Buckeye Tailgating occurs all over planet earth!

  2. Praise the Lord and Thank You Gene Smith. The Last Great Ohio Sports Venue you can bring your kids and grandkids to without having to explain why the oaf next to you is cursing and wobbling when he tries to walk without falling.
    thank you

  3. Tailgating was a fun environment until Holbrook all but took it away. Now you have to sneak a beer in some of the parking lots and fear the over zealous cops writing open container tickets.

    It has become over commercialized in the wake of her decision after the 2002 Michigan Game.

    JBN – Ohio State 2003

  4. Not interested until you see how much money you are missing out on. OSU is all about money and greed.

  5. No way! Most drinkers will be half drunk before the game. The night games would be a complete disaster.

    Really need alcohol restrictions on Lane. They are all drunk there.

  6. Lol at the idea that people won’t be excessively drunk if alcohol isn’t sold in the stadium. As a student at OSU, ice seen a fellow student removed from almost every game- wayy to drunk, because they wanted to “keep their buzz” in a place where alcohol isn’t offered. I’d appreciate alcohol sales big time.

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