BOISE — The Idaho State Board of Education says most fans will face a dry season at upcoming home football games.
Board members rejected requests on Thursday to continue permitting alcohol sales at Boise State University and University of Idaho football games for the upcoming season. The move marks a significant step away from the recent trend of other college stadiums allowing alcohol service to help boost revenue.
People sitting in premium seats at BSU will still be able to purchase alcohol.
In 2015, the board tentatively approved alcohol sales at Idaho football games as part of a yearlong pilot program. However, board members said Thursday that they would stop allowing alcohol sales to fans who held a ticket, but would continue to allow sales to those given a special invitation by BSU — those who sit in box seats and attend for free on the dime of corporate sponsors.
That's in line with what the university's policy for 11 years, before the pilot program. That policy was put into place to protect families bringing children to the stadium, said Emma Atchley, the board's vice president.
Only board member David Hill opposed the board's decision to stop alcohol sales at BSU football games.
Hill says that the board's decision will essentially shut down BSU's pre-game function known as The Huddle, which offered fans food, alcohol and entertainment in lieu of tailgating. The Huddle is currently located inside Caven-Williams Sports Complex and opened three hours before prior to kickoff.
BSU officials reported no problems operating The Huddle over the past year, arguing that the restaurant-style gathering place was a good alternative for families instead of tailgating, as well as giving fans an incentive not to stay home.
Immediately after rejecting alcohol sales to ticketed fans, the board approved alcohol service at the premium seats inside BSU's Stueckle Sky Center.
The board's decision will also impact University of Idaho's pre-game areas, known as the Idaho Fan Zone, near the Kibbie Done.
Fans can still drink alcohol at designated pregame tailgating areas at BSU and University of Idaho with alcohol they bring in.