Virginia Athletics recently announced that the reopening of Scott Stadium this fall will come with game day “enhancements” designed to elevate the fan experience. The headline attraction? You’ll finally be able to drink beer in the stands in the comfort of your own metal bleacher seats.
The 2019 season—the last one before the COVID rocked the world—had first introduced alcohol in the stadium, but was limited to two designated beer gardens, neither of them with an actual view of the field. Selling beer, wine, and cider, it was essentially an outdoor bar nearby, but not within eyesight of, the action itself.
From my experience two years ago, the lines were long and the location too far removed for my liking, so allowing fans to bring their beverages back to their seats is a tremendous improvement.
Some fans complained on Twitter that this would liken the overall experience to an NFL game, one they viewed as far less enjoyable or family-friendly than the college experience. I don’t imagine Scott Stadium exactly turning into Lincoln Financial Field because of the drastically different fan base, but maybe it’s worth pointing out the MLB games—America’s past time and premier family-friendly sporting environment—all allow alcohol in your seats.
You can download the Virginia Sports mobile app to see exactly which concessions will be selling beer and wine, but know that the ones nearest the student section will not be. (This guy is pretty pleased with his decision to flip to the other side of the stadium this year!)
In addition to the alcohol they’ve tried to improve the entry procedures as well. In addition to digital ticketing, all the entry gates will have walk-through metal detectors that will not require fans to take cell phones, keys or wallets out of their pockets while going through security. This is huge! The clear bag policy still remains in effect.
Over the past few years, Bronco Mendenhall and staff have been trying to reinforce The 4th Side, the notion that, after offense, defense, and special teams, there’s also a fourth side to a football game that includes the team rooting for itself. It includes those on the sidelines, those in the fans, and anyone who can provide a spark for the team. A giant Instagrammable 4th Side installation has been placed right at the northeast concourse when you walk in. Here’s more on the 4th Side:
Just before kickoff, a large 4th Side banner will flow down the Virginia student section. Here’s a preview from last week’s welcome event for first years:
Finally, for those worried about the health and safety precautions, fans will need to wear masks in all interior public spaces, including restrooms, elevators, shuttles, press box, suites, etc. Those in the outdoor portions of suites won’t need to wear masks. Hand sanitizer stations have also been placed throughout the stadium.
After a year-long hiatus, the Virginia Cavaliers are finally ready to welcome the fans back to Scott Stadium! The Hoos take the field on Saturday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m. against William & Mary. For those who can’t make it, the game will also be televised on Regional Sports Networks.