Alcohol has run dry for students at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes
Stadium, but alcohol advertisements still tap the stadium’s
After the university suspended alcohol sales in student seating
at Hughes, pending the Feb. 1 report by the CSU Alcohol Task Force,
some students believe keeping alcohol advertisements at the stadium
“(The university) took away alcohol, but the signs are still
there and it is kind of like saying it’s OK, but we’re not going to
give it to you here. It’s almost like they are saying, ‘If you do
it behind our back, we’ll turn the other way,'” said Mark Rising, a
freshman sociology major.
Lena Withers, a senior political science major, agreed.
“It sends mixed signals to students that it is OK to get money
from alcohol for things we want, but it is not OK for you to drink
the alcohol – it just seems hypocritical, I guess,” she said.
A sponsorship contract with Coors Brewing Company still has
“several years” until it expires, and the university “has every
intention of pursuing” the alcohol company’s sponsorship in the
future, said Gary Ozzello, senior associate athletic director.
At Saturday’s home game versus Montana State, Jeremy Peterson
noticed large Coors posters underneath the new digital video board
and heard the Coors theme song during the game.
“It seems kind of pointless to have the posters up there when
they are not selling it. Why have it up if you can’t have it?” said
Peterson, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.
The athletic department recognizes the conflict and is working
with Coors to develop a responsible drinking campaign for stadium
alcohol advertisements, Ozzello said.
The theme song will no longer play at football games “due to the
sensitivity” of the alcohol issue at CSU, but the department still
hopes to remain partners with Coors, Ozzello said.
“Coors Brewing Company has been a great supporter of athletics
at Colorado State for more than three decades,” Ozzello said.
The six-figure revenue from Coors alcohol advertisements goes
toward producing athletic schedule cards, posters, media guides and
also sponsors the video board, Ozzello said.
“Coors is the most significant sponsor in the athletic
department, and even university-wide,” Ozzello said.
While Sam Bartlett, a junior English education major, disagrees
with the alcohol ban at Hughes, he believes shifting the focus of
advertising to drinking responsibly is a good idea.
“Obviously people are going to drink, but putting it in a light
of being more responsible is less hypocritical and sends a better
message to students,” Bartlett said.
Despite conflicting views, Pam McCracken, director for the
Center for Drug and Alcohol Education, believes the athletic
department is taking steps in the right direction to deal with
“This is an interesting dilemma … most likely if alcohol is to
be banned it should be banned everywhere,” McCracken said. “I think
working with the industry can prove to have win-win solutions and
that we need to explore all the options while working with the
industry (of) alcohol distributors.”