Koch Arena undergoes big changes
Shockers fans can now buy beer at more Wichita State University athletic events.
Beer will be sold during WSU events at Koch Arena and softball games at Wilkins Stadium, said Brad Pittman, the associate athletic director of facilities and operations.
“This is becoming more the norm than the exception in our industry,” Pittman said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to provide a different guest experience for our fans.”
The Sept. 15 WSU volleyball game against Creighton was the first event in Koch Arena to allow beer sales.
WSU athletic director Darron Boatright previously made a request to university president John Bardo to sell 3.2 percent beer at athletic events. University officials have reviewed the campus alcohol policy as the Innovation Campus grows, with the potential for future businesses like hotels and restaurants.
Beer and alcohol sales at college sports events are becoming increasingly common as schools jockey for concession revenue. The new policy also brings WSU up to date with most schools in the American Athletic Conference.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to capture an additional revenue source at a time when an additional revenue source, especially with a move to a new conference, is something that we need,” Pittman said.
Beer sales have been allowed at baseball games in Eck Stadium for almost 30 years, Pittman said.
“So that will stay the same,” Pittman said.
Pittman said they haven’t decided if they’ll allow beer sales at Cessna Stadium, which hosts track and field meets.
“Honestly, we only have one college track meet so we’re not sure if that’s something that we’ll do yet or not,” Pittman said.
Pittman said WSU would work through its concession contract to decide what products will be offered. And he said they will cut off beer sales at the ten-minute mark in the second half of basketball games.
“We kind of looked at what other folks did,” he said.
But Pittman said they will not offer beer sales at any high school events, such as state track meets, state basketball games and graduations. He said a safe fan environment remains “at the forefront of our minds.”
“We’re … mindful of the message that it sends and we want to be careful how we portray that,” Pittman said. “There are some events that we do that just don’t make sense for us to do this.”