Cheers! Wine Paired With Sports

Sep 17, 2010 2:31pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Danielle Waugh blogs:
Starting tomorrow, the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University will be adding wine to concession stand menus.
Seven dollars will buy you 6 ounces of Chardonnay, Merlot, or White Zinfandel sold in a disposable cup – that’s one dollar more than the stadium’s usual offering: 16 ounces of beer.
In a statement to, Director of Food Services Dave George said the move comes after repeated fan requests. 
“We anticipate this being a popular new option,” George said.
The University announced the new additions in a press release last week, saying the wine sales will “enhance fans’ Carrier Dome gameday experience.”
The Carrier Dome is the latest addition to the growing list of wine-selling stadiums, joining the ranks of Byrd Stadium at the University of Maryland and Yankee stadium, among others.  Wine sales can add significant revenue. According to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, the development proposals for Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash. suggested beer and wine sales as a way to defray $250 million in renovation costs.
But are fans more likely to celebrate by chugging a beer or making a toast?
“I don’t really think of wine when I think of sporting events,” Syracuse University senior Mike Smeltz said.
He finds beer to be the more appropriate option, saying it’s as common as a hotdog at a baseball game.
Smeltz said he will purchase wine the next time he goes to an SU game because it’s a “novelty” and will be “something funny to have.”
Given the rowdiness of the crowd, some people are expecting messy results.
“People spill beer on each other all the time in the student section, and [red] wine could have horrific consequences there,” senior Adam Beilman said. 
The Carrier Dome requires an ID to purchase alcohol, but junior Kathrynn McCool said it’s easy for underage students to get drinks from people over 21.
“I see about 50 percent of the student section with a beer,” McCool said.
The Dome will continue to enforce the alcohol policies already in place. A person buying beer or wine can only purchase two drinks per transaction, and no one can buy alcohol after half time.
A new seating section called the “Tops Family Corner,” sponsored by grocery store company Tops Markets, will be an alcohol-free section.
With these changes to the stadium, Beilman said the Dome is catering to the wrong group.
He thinks the wine is for the  “luxury-box, premium-seating” clientele.
“Most American sports are blue collar affairs,” Beilman said. “The traditional image of tailgating, greasy foods and men’s athletics does not include wine, in my mind.”

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