Portland State football coach Bruce Barnum found an easy way to get fans to his team's home opener against Western Oregon last weekend. Turns out if you offer free beer, they will come.
And while it wasn't as grand as a Field of Dreams plot-line, Barnum followed through on his promise, fronting the entire $14,448 bill. Barnum, in his seventh year as Portland State head coach, tweeted a picture representing the bill where fans drank 786 Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPAs and 1,260 Coors Lights for a grand total of 2,064 beers.
Barnum initially made the offer during his weekly appearance on John Canzano's radio show, telling The Oregonian columnist: "I’ve got to get people to see my kids. I like my team."
"I’ve got a deal for you," Barnum said. "Anybody who heard me on your show ... just say ‘I heard Barney on the BFT’ at the Barney Beer Garden and I’ll buy your beer. I’m not buying your ticket, but I’ll buy your beer."
Barnum, the 2015 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, said he was trying to counter being up against Oregon and Oregon State—the two also played Saturday. In the end, 3,124 spectators were in attendance to see a 21-7 Portland State win.
The Vikings, who are part of the Big Sky conference as a Division I Football Championship Subdivision team, lost their first two games of the season against Hawaii and Washington State. Portland State faces No. 13 Montana State at home Saturday, although it looks like the free beer gimmick was a one-time offer.
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