BOISE - The Idaho State Board of Education says ticketed fans will no longer be allowed to purchase alcohol at college football games without an invitation.
Board members rejected requests on Thursday to continue allowing alcohol sales at Boise State University and University of Idaho football games for the upcoming playing season.
"The decision the board made is that patrons are certainly welcome, however those wanting to go to the area serving alcohol will be required to have a written invitation from Boise State University specifically," Board Spokesperson Blake Youde said.
Alcohol sales at football games were tentatively permitted by the board last year. Before, alcohol service was only approved for corporate sponsors and their guests, such as in the Stueckle Sky Center at Albertsons Stadium.
However, board members said they no longer wanted to waive the state's current policy - which requires a special invite to buy alcohol at collegiate games.
"The board has always been very concerned, first of all, with the safety of all individuals attending our sporting events," explained Youde. "And alcohol is certainly something the board watches and wants to make sure that when it is served, it is served in a very safe environment to those who are legally allowed to have it."
Only board member David Hill opposed the board's decision.
Hill says that the board's decision will essentially shut down BSU's pre-game function known as "The Huddle," which offered fans food, alcohol and entertainment in lieu of tailgating.
“We respect today’s decision by the Idaho State Board of Education regarding alcohol sales at The Huddle prior to Boise State football games.," Boise State Director of Athletics Curt Apsey said in a statement. "The Huddle is a popular family event that allows fans an opportunity to congregate before kickoff. We will work closely with the Board to identify acceptable policies and procedures moving forward, and from there, determine the future of the event."