Butler University may soon sell alcohol at Hinkle Fieldhouse

Hinkle Fieldhouse (WISH Photo/Nick Nebesny)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Bulldog fans may soon be able to crack open a cold one at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Butler University has formally applied for a permit to sell alcohol.

Take one step onto Butler’s campus and it’s difficult to find anyone who doesn’t have love for basketball.

“I go to Butler, so it’s kind of necessary for me to like our team,” senior Miranda Herman said and laughed.

Junior Alex Lozon added, “It’s just kind of the electricity that the student body brings. It’s not something that we really see anywhere else on campus.”

And something else they don’t see? Alcohol. At least not at Hinkle Fieldhouse. But, that could soon change. Greeting fans as they walk through the doors of the Fieldhouse are bright orange notices, letting people know that the university has applied for an alcoholic beverage permit. It would allow them to sell beer, wine and liquor. Students have mixed feelings.

“I think it’s something that the sports world needs in America, not necessarily ‘needs,’ but always has. It’s just something that you see around in a bunch of facilities and stuff like that. So why not,” questioned sophomore Noah LIndeman.

Lozon said, “There’s a weird kind of feel when the players on the court can’t even drink and then there’s people in the stands being served beer for profit or whatever.”

Butler didn’t go into details as to why they want to begin selling alcohol. Currently, alcohol is served to fans in hospitality locations often reserved for donors and sponsors, but it’s not sold to the general public. If the university’s application is approved, fans could buy drinks at the concession stands during events held at the Fieldhouse.

“It could make it more exciting definitely,” Lozon said.

The excitement — regardless of alcohol sales are not — seemingly will not fizz out.

“When we beat Villanova, that was probably hands down the best game so far,” Lindeman said.

In a statement, Butler University Vice President/Director of Athletics Barry Collier said:

Butler has applied for an alcoholic beverage permit for Hinkle Fieldhouse, which would also extend to the venues that utilize Hinkle’s concession areas. Currently, through a permit held by our caterer Aramark, alcoholic beverages are available at select events in hospitality locations. It is our intent to offer alcoholic beverages for purchase at the concession areas of our basketball games. Butler has communicated this plan to those who live near campus and the permit application has been supported by the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association. Butler is committed to maintaining the exciting and positive gameday experience that our fans and their families enjoy for all contests that take place on our campus.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Commission plans to meet at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the City-County Building in downtown Indianapolis in Room 260. It is open to the public.