- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois University-Carbondale officials said fans of legal drinking age may be able to purchase alcohol at sporting events as soon as next fall.

Athletic director Tommy Bell said there are still details to work out, such as if there will be a limit to where and how many drinks fans can buy. Bell estimated the plan could generate about $50,000 a year, the Southern Illinoisan (https://bit.ly/2i21Wqb) reported.

The university currently sells wine and beer to donors at the basketball arena and special events inside the club areas, as well as to the football stadium’s suite owners. According to university records, SIU Carbondale sold over $39,000 worth of alcohol in those clubs and suites during the 2015 to 2016 school year.

“I think it can be a nice bump to what we’re doing in our concessions. A bump. Not a big leap,” Bell said.

Gov. Bruce Rauner approved a measure this summer allowing Illinois colleges and universities to sell alcohol at campus events, and the university’s Board of Trustees approved the plan for its campuses Dec. 8. Universities are also required to consider whether the event setting is appropriate for alcohol sales, and whether the majority of attendees will be over or under the legal drinking age of 21.

SIU President Randy Dunn said not only would the alcohol sales provide more money, but it’s also important to think about “what the fan base is asking for.” Dunn said while additional costs may be required for security at alcohol-related events, the university president said very few problems have been reported at other schools that have allowed alcohol sales at public events.

SIU Carbondale Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell said discussion on further logistics will begin after the holidays.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, https://www.southernillinoisan.com

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