License would allow limited alcohol sales at select Jordan Center events

February 20, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- University officials today (Feb. 20) submitted an application for a public venue license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) that would allow alcohol to be served at the Bryce Jordan Center for a concert event in April. The event is being considered a pilot project that will be heavily scrutinized to inform any future decisions related to the venue.

Pending approval from the PLCB and the University’s Board of Trustees, the license would grant the Jordan Center similar capabilities for alcohol sales as those that currently exist at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on the University Park campus, and other similar venues across Pennsylvania. All sales would be strictly limited to select, non-University events, such as concerts. Athletic events are not under consideration.

If the license ultimately is approved, officials said public alcohol sales will be limited to beer and wine, under tightly regulated conditions.

“This is a structured experiment that we have decided to undertake because there is clearly an expectation at certain types of entertainment events that food and alcohol should be served,” said David Gray, senior vice president for Finance and Business/Treasurer. “We consider this a way to provide an opportunity for the safe, responsible enjoyment of adult beverages to of-age patrons at select events. Being able to serve beer and wine to adult patrons gives the Jordan Center a competitive advantage in the concert marketplace.”

In the past, the Jordan Center has lost opportunities for concerts by popular artists to other venues because many fans want to patronize venues that are able to sell alcohol, and some artists prefer those venues.

The Bryce Jordan Center is the only major arena in Pennsylvania that currently prohibits the sale of alcohol at events. In a survey of 127 U.S. arenas, where 30 percent were on a university campus, more than 88 percent served alcohol. Beer has been served for nearly a decade at Medlar Field during State College Spikes baseball games.

Gray said decisions about when beer and wine sales will be permitted at the Jordan Center will be made on an event-by-event basis, and will involve experts from across the University, including representatives from University Police and Public Safety, Penn State’s Risk Management Office, and other senior leadership.

“Allowing the Bryce Jordan Center to provide sales and services at appropriate events will enable the University to host more events, draw more people to the region, and be a stronger community asset,” Gray said. “Alcohol is not the focus of the event and there are a number of limitations that will be implemented to help keep patrons and the community safe.”

Stringent security measures and certified training in the service and sale of alcohol are anticipated parts of the pilot program. If alcohol is sold, there will be an increased police presence inside the arena and in the parking lots before and after any event. Service also will be cut off well before the end of any event and a one-drink-per-person purchase limit will be imposed for each concession stand visit, with no drinks to be sold within the seating area.

If the application is approved and the experiment with controlled service moves forward, officials will fully review results before determining next steps. The Bryce Jordan Center will have the option to renew the license annually.

Service will be prohibited at all University-sponsored activities hosted at the Jordan Center, such as Penn State sporting events, and at all events that can be expected to attract a significant number of people who are younger than the legal drinking age.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 20, 2015