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CU Football Season Ticket Holder Survey - Fall 1996

Executive Summary

A two-year moratorium on beer sales at CU-Boulder football games in Folsom Field was initiated in spring 1996 by then-Chancellor Roderick Park. The alcohol policy change was based on a recommendation made by the Chancellor's Committee on Alcohol Issues, and was in direct response to several concerns. First, the administration wished to enhance the safety and enjoyment of fans attending the games and recognized that many of the significant problems occurring in the stadium were the direct result of alcohol consumption. Second, CU-Boulder wanted to move to a campus culture where alcohol consumption need not be a necessary ingredient for enjoyment at social occasions. Third, CU-Boulder was the only school in the Big 12 Athletic Conference that still sold beer in its football stadium. A change in policy would serve to bring CU-Boulder in line with its peer institutions. In order to better support the no-alcohol policy, a policy prohibiting re-entry to the stadium during games was also put in place.

In spring and summer 1997, Student Affairs Research Services (SARS) surveyed CU-Boulder students in addition to renewing and nonrenewing 1996 season ticket holders to determine attitudes toward the alcohol ban, the no re-entry policy, and other aspects of game-day experiences at Folsom Field. This report summarizes the survey results.

Season ticket holders (who are non-students) are generally positive toward the no-alcohol policy and its effects. Fifty-two percent are satisfied with or neutral toward the policy and about half (49%) report that the no-alcohol policy improved crowd behavior as compared to prior years. Another 42% thought the policy did not have a significant effect on crowd behavior and only 9% thought the no-alcohol policy had a negative effect on crowd behavior. Similarly, 55% said the new policy prohibiting alcohol had enhanced or had no effect on their level of enjoyment at the games. Seventy percent are satisfied with crowd behavior at the fall 1996 games; 63% are satisfied with the level of security at the fall 1996 games.

CU students are somewhat less satisfied than season ticket holders with the no-alcohol policy (43% satisfied or neutral). However, over half (55%) think the no-alcohol policy either improved or had no effect on crowd behavior at the games and a similar number (53%) think the no-alcohol policy had a positive effect or no effect on their level of enjoyment at the games. Interestingly, the students reporting the most dissatisfaction with the alcohol policy are under 21 years of age. Since the drinking age is 21, this finding may suggest that underage drinking was taking place before the ban.

The survey also assessed satisfaction with and impact of the no re-entry policy. Most season ticket holders (57%) are satisfied with or neutral toward the no re-entry policy; 66% feel that the no re-entry policy either enhanced or had no effect on their enjoyment at the games. CU students, however, are much less positive toward the policy. Only 28% are satisfied with or neutral toward the policy and two-thirds think the no re-entry policy diminished their enjoyment at the games. [CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny discontinued the no re-entry policy for the fall 97 season following a significant number of complaints unrelated to alcohol.]

Season ticket holder renewal rates were examined to judge the possible impact of the alcohol and re-entry policy changes. Attitudes toward the policies did not influence likelihood of renewing tickets for the fall 97 season. Of approximately 11,000 fall 96 season ticket holders, only about 2% chose not to renew their season tickets. Among those deciding not to renew, the overwhelming reason for not doing so was cost. When asked "what is the biggest reason for not renewing your tickets," 52% indicated the decision was based on increasing ticket prices, the required annual donation, or a perceived lack of value for the expense. Six percent said the biggest reason was the change in alcohol or re-entry policy and 11% cited misbehavior or drinking by fans. CU students also have high expected renewal rates; 79% who attended games in fall 96 said they would purchase tickets again for the fall 97 season.

The CU-Boulder Police Department (CUPD) statistics were also examined as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of the new policies. CUPD reported a total of 151 game-day incidents for the 1996 season as compared to 242 incidents for the 1995 season (when beer was still served in the stadium). Comparing fall 95 to fall 96, total arrests went from 20 in 1995 down to 11 in 1996; alcohol-related referrals to the Office of Judicial Affairs (CU-Boulder students) went from 58 down to 11; and ejections from Folsom went from 121 to 61. The total number of assaults decreased as well from 9 to only 1 during the fall 96 season.

The fall 1997 season represents the second year of the two-year moratorium on beer sales. CU-Boulder plans to repeat the Folsom Field survey at the end of the fall 97 season. Survey results for fall 97 students and season ticket holders will be combined with fall 96 survey results and fall 97 CUPD statistics. It is expected that these data will be used by the campus community to make a decision about the efficacy of the alcohol policy in achieving CU-Boulder's objectives.

l:\ir\rwj\folsom\f96\folsom96.htm - last updated 12-16-97

Last revision 05/02/16

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