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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

Oregon looking to extend time for fans to drink before games

The University of Oregon allows fans to consume alcohol in the parking lots outside Autzen Stadium starting four hours before kickoff, and apparently there is some concern that more time should be allotted for people to get their booze on.

According to Maggie Vanoni of The Register-Guard, Oregon has asked the Eugene City Council to amend the city code to allow alcohol to be consumed in tailgate reserved parking lots six hours before football games. Athletic department officials argue that extending the alcohol consumption period would “enhance the experience for fans and decrease traffic congestion before games.”

That’s one way of looking at it.

“Sixty percent of our current football season ticket base comes from beyond Lane, Linn and Benton counties,” UO Deputy Athletic Director Eric Roedl. “Which means they are driving a significant distance, often three to four hours round trip, to come to Oregon football games. So, it’s truly an all-day commitment to come.”

Naturally, city councilors have questioned whether the additional time to legally consume alcohol would result in excessive drinking. University of Oregon Police Chief Matthew Carmichael says it may actually have the opposite effect.

“It’s been my experience that by extending the time doesn’t increase the amount of alcohol one person consumes,” he said. “There are some arguments that say it would actually reduce that rush-feel to want to drink more in a short period of time.”

The City Council is expected to vote on the proposed change on July 9. As long as the additional boozing window doesn’t result in tailgating incidents like this, the impending change shouldn’t be regretted.

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