Brewmeisters good to University of Louisville

The observer doesn’t partake of alcohol during University of Louisville games, whether it’s at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the KFC Yum! Center or watching a contest on the couch at home.

Used to have a couple of beers now and then but it seemed like every time he did UofL would lose the game. Reason enough to stick with Coke. Don’t mind if the seat neighbors imbibe — as long as they don’t infringe on watching the game.

In August 2005, the NCAA Executive Board suggested that member colleges and universities stop selling alcohol at athletic events. The NCAA never followed through on what some perceived to be a harbinger of things to come, probably because so many schools benefit from alcohol sales. The brewmeisters have been especially good to the University of Louisville.

“A lot of our facilities were built through sponsorship with certain companies, such as Budweiser,” said Tom Jurich, a few years ago. “We have to conform to what is in our contract with them. Alcohol sales are part of that.”

He told UofL’s student newspaper that University’s policy is consistent with that of other Big East members, including St. Johns, Villanova, Seton Hall, and Providence. “We consider everything that the NCAA asks us to look at,” he said, “but our conference has told us we are welcome to sell alcohol, and right now that is where we are at.”

U of L owes companies like Brown-Forman, Budweiser and Makers Mark a huge debt of gratitude for all they’ve done for the program over many years. Oertel’s 92 beer was a radio sponsor for much of the sixties and seventies. The continuance of alcohol sales is a way of ensuring the continued vitality of the relationships.

“When you don’t have major issues — and we fortunately have not — I don’t think people think much about it except when they go elsewhere,” Sports Information Director Kenny Klein told USA Today in February, “and our fans are wondering if they serve beer there.”

And the vast majority drink responsibly.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.