AKRON, Ohio - Instead of foam fingers, there was something else occupying Akron's hands Thursday -- beers at the InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field.
It's the first time the University of Akron is allowing alcohol on the stadium's main levels. With the first game of the season Thursday, there was plenty of excitement to go around. Not just for the game, but for the new policy.
"I think they only got Bud Light here. No they do have Yuengnling, " said Bill Fry, an University of Akron alum who's been a Zips fan for nearly four decades. Thursday was his first time buying a beer in the newer stadium.
"I've snuck it in before, does that count," Fry joked. Many more made the same confession off camera, but as Fry put it, "Football and beer go together."
It was also Amanda Engle's first time waiting in line to buy a beer. Engle said, "It's kind of nice to be able to drink on campus now instead of just pre-gaming out in the parking lot and then coming to the stadium."
Amanda believes adding cold ones to the stadium won't make for more disruption.
Tim Siwicki, a junior at the university agreed and said, "I think we have a good campus patrol that will do a good job monitoring and making sure things were okay."
But if you think things sounded pretty mellow Thursday, there was definitely a buzz -- behind the counter.
The "cha-ching" of the register was all you could hear for most of the first half.
Lisa Engelhart is a returning volunteer working the register and said this year's first game is, "Way busier than normal!" Engelhart added, "The alcohol sales have probably tripled the amount of patrons that are here right now."
She followed that with a, " Hi there, how can I help you?" And don't you know, "I'll have two beers," was what the next customer said.
One after another the draft orders just kept coming. Just how many beers were sold already? Engelhart answered, "Oh my God. I have no idea but I would definitely say Yuengling is the hottest seller of the night."
It's definitely a money-maker for the university agreed Engelhart. As for Engelhart, she's a volunteer working to raise money for a cheerleading team so even they will benefit from the cold ones.
University of Akron Director of Athletics, Tom Wistrcill said, " … we believe this is something that will enhance the gameday experience and likely will attract new fans as well!"
Bill Fry's response, a "Go Zips!" raising his beer in the air.
Of course everything is monitored. Fans purchasing the beverages must show ID, no matter their age. They then receive a wristband and a maximum of two beers are being sold per transaction.
The university also says they are promoting and establishing designated drinking programs.
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