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Survey: Huskers fans favor alcohol sales; gambling OK, too

Survey: Huskers fans favor alcohol sales; gambling OK, too

A survey of more than 20,000 Nebraska fans showed nearly three-fourths want or would have no problem with alcohol sales in Memorial Stadium, and more than half would be OK with sports wagering on site.

The athletic department in January sent surveys to more than 220,000 season ticket holders, single-game ticket buyers and donors, and 21,782 responded. Results were released Tuesday.

University regents voted last month to allow campus leaders to decide whether to sell alcohol at sports venues. University president Ted Carter said there would be no alcohol sales at Memorial Stadium in 2022, but beer was available at Pinnacle Bank Arena for the Big Ten wrestling tournament this past weekend.

At least half the schools in the major conferences, and eight of the 14 in the Big Ten, now sell alcohol.

Nebraska survey respondents attended an average of 3.7 home football games per year, and 51% were between the ages of 35 and 64.

Some 72% of all respondents said they had a positive or neutral attitude toward alcohol sales at Memorial Stadium, including 41% that had a very positive attitude.

Asked if they would attend more games if there were alcohol sales, 22% said they would and 65% said it make no difference. More than 90% of respondents 54 and under said they would attend the same number of games or more.

Nebraska voters last fall legalized casino gambling — including sports wagering — but only at the state's six horse tracks. The Nebraska State Racing Commission, which will oversee casino and sports gambling, is still formulating policies and no date set is set for legal gambling to begin.

Also, there has been no movement to allow sports wagering at locations other than horse tracks.

Asked about potential sports wagering at the stadium, 60% said they had a positive or neutral view, with 21% very positive. Some 27% said they had a very negative view of making bets at the stadium.

Of respondents 25 and under, 83% were positive or neutral about sports wagering, as were 72% of respondents 25 to 54. Negative views of sports wagering were held by 58% of those 55 to 74.

The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment about its position on sportsbooks in college stadiums. NCAA bylaws forbid athletes, athletic department staff, those who have responsibilities in or over an athletic department and conference staff from wagering activities.


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