A couple of decades ago, watching TCU football was unpleasant enough that leaving the stadium to have a beer or two in the parking lot was practically the only way to get through a game.
But over the years, the Horned Frogs have become a must-see, a perennial contender with a lively game-day atmosphere at a retooled stadium. The only thing missing was a cold one. This season, TCU is tackling that, too.
Starting with the Aug. 31 home opener, beer will be sold at Amon G. Carter stadium concession stands. The university’s new policy will prevent people from leaving and re-entering the stadium, and beer sales will end after the third quarter.
If you’re thinking this will encourage drinking, think again. Anyone who has walked through the parking lots around the stadium on game day knows it’s already happening.
With beer available inside, the tailgate scene will suffer, but TCU’s approach is smart. Removing in-and-out privileges alone will probably discourage over-consumption. And the price point, $7 per beer, is good for a sporting event but not low enough where most fans will match what they might drink from their own coolers in the parking lot.
TCU is catching up with universities in the Big 12 Conference, most of which allow for beer sales. And the Horned Frogs have already experimented by selling suds at baseball games, with no craziness reported yet.
We’ve all seen drinkers get obnoxious at sporting events, and that will no doubt happen at TCU games, too. But the actions of a few knuckleheads shouldn’t keep the majority of well-behaved fans from enjoying a drink in the stands. And without the post-halftime lull from tailgaters trickling back in, the overall atmosphere and energy will improve.
And if those reasons aren’t enough, how about good old Fort Worth hospitality? After all, six visiting teams are scheduled for a long day against TCU this fall. Once their fans get a look at Coach Gary Patterson’s latest defense, they’ll need a beer in the worst way.