Penn State

Garth Brooks concert may be debut for alcohol at Bryce Jordan Center

Garth Brooks wowed crowds as one of the first big concerts held in the Bryce Jordan Center in 1997. Brooks’ upcoming show in May might be the debut for alcohol sales in the establishment.
Garth Brooks wowed crowds as one of the first big concerts held in the Bryce Jordan Center in 1997. Brooks’ upcoming show in May might be the debut for alcohol sales in the establishment. CDT file photo

Country music is no stranger to songs about getting a little tipsy. Or drunk. Or downright sloshed.

So it should be no surprise that the event that looks to change the Bryce Jordan Center from being bone dry to wet (but officials say not wild) will be the return to the stage by legendary superstar Garth Brooks, the man who pretty much built the bridge between the country and pop charts.

Jordan Center Marketing Director Bernard Punt confirmed Wednesday that the Brooks world-tour stopover in Happy Valley on May 1-2 is the reason the university is pursuing a special-event license that would overturn the longtime ban on liquor in the venue.

“This is the show,” he said in an email.

University officials said last month that an upcoming concert would be a “pilot project” for the availability of alcohol at select events.

“We have been disadvantaged,” spokesman Reidar Jensen said then. “We have lost shows to other venues that do sell alcohol.”

Alcohol and Brooks do seem to go together like a hand and a “Longneck Bottle.” Of his laundry list of chart-topping hits, liquid libations are a mainstay. There is “Two Pina Coladas,” “American Honky-Tonk Bar Association,” his “Beer Run” duet with old-school legend George Jones, and most memorably, the song CMT named the greatest drinking song of all time, “Friends in Low Places.”

The Brooks tour is one of the most anticipated shows happening in 2015. It comes 18 years after his last appearance in Centre County.

According to Jensen, the application for the liquor license is still being processed. A decision is expected in April.

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