Editorial: Safety should be top priority with Convo alcohol sales

When it comes to selling alcohol at the Convocation Center, the Editorial Board wants to make sure it doesn’t take away from safety, which should always be a priority.

The addition of alcohol, if approved, will be used in an effort to raise attendance at sporting events, bring in big-name entertainers and generate revenue.

The Editorial Board feels alcohol can increase the “what if” factor at sporting events and concerts. Alcohol can make an audience unruly and dangerous, which is why the Convocation Center staff must realize who they are selling to and must not be afraid to cut someone off.

The addition of alcohol could be a big move for the Convo as the men’s and women’s basketball teams are in search of more fans.

This is also a good move for entertainment at the Convo. Serving alcohol could attract nationally known bands and entertainers, which will help put the NIU and DeKalb community on the map, and that’s never a bad thing.

Associate Athletic Director Ryan Sedevie said the addition of alcohol isn’t just to make a couple more bucks, but to “create maximum use of the facility.”

Sedevie said Athletics has researched schools that offer alcohol at events, like the University of Illinois and University Illinois-Chicago, and will continue to stress safety at events.

“You have to look at the security side of things,” Sedevie said. “How you police it, when you cut off sales, just the whole operational side of things.”

With alcohol being sold at events, it may encourage students not to pregame with large amounts of liquor or beer and come to events completely intoxicated.

Alcohol could also help attract the older crowd, which would mean adding to attendance and hopefully more sold-out concerts.

As long as safety continues to be a priority for serving alcohol, the Editorial Board has no problem with the steps the Athletics Department has been making.