NFL team the Buffalo Bills are pushing for a change in legislation to allow fans to buy beer from concession stands inside the stadium one hour earlier on game day.
According to The Buffalo News, Bills fans in the upcoming 2014 season may find themselves able to enter the stadium at 11am rather than noon, buy beer and settle in to their seats before the 1pm kick-off.
Sean Ryan, a Democratic assemblyman who is introducing the measure to the New York state capitol building, explained to the paper that the idea was that the move would “restore some of the family environment to the stadium”, “downgrade the emphasis on tailgating” which would simultaneously create a more “controlled” drinking environment.
The tradition before football games is for fans to gather in the parking lot to eat and drink in informal “tailgate” parties around their cars before heading into the stadium for the match.
Ryan noted that Bills fans “seem to have a taste for beer before noon on Sundays.” One reason for this is perhaps that Bills fans have to pay some of the most expensive prices for beer in the NFL, $9 for a 20 ounce cup.
Nonetheless, other NFL teams apparently allow fans inside earlier and local NHL team the Buffalo Sabres manage to coax fans inside with the promise of pre-game beer and food.
“This would enable fans to enjoy more of the pregame atmosphere inside the newly renovated stadium, which will include the new interactive fan experiences and dining options that were previously unavailable to fans,” said Ryan.
With the football season lasting into the winter and the rapidly plummeting temperatures which hit upper New York state, it is thought that some (less hardy perhaps) fans may appreciate being able to find some shelter inside the stadium a little earlier too.
Another theory put forward by Buffalo News is that increasing concession sales is one way to add value to the franchise as it seeks new owners.
Another franchise looking to boost revenue inside its stadium is the Jacksonville Jaguars which is in the process of taking out over 9,000 setas in its stadium and replacing them with a two-tier party deck as part of a $63 million renovation of its stadium.
Next season, fans will be able to watch the game while drinking beer and wine beside one of two swimming pools or in one of the 16 cabanas that will be installed.
“We’re targeting businesses who want to entertain some of their clients or even their own employees,” the franchise’s senior vice-president of sales Chad Johnson said. “What we’ve built here you can’t get anywhere else.”