SBD/March 20, 2013/Facilities

Univ. Of Minnesota Loses Money On First-Year Alcohol Sales At Football Games

The Univ. of Minnesota last year sold nearly $1M in "beer and wine at TCF Bank Stadium," but by the time vendors "took their cut and the university finished paying for security and startup costs, the university was out $15,516," according to Jennifer Brooks of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. UM’s vendor, Aramark, gives the school a 22% share "of the profits from alcohol sales," which came to $185,025 "after taxes." But UM's alcohol-related expenses "for the first year were $200,587." UM Associate AD/Administration & Finance and CFO Tom McGinnis said, "We knew it wasn’t going to be profitable." Brooks notes UM last season "brought in a dozen extra campus police officers, 10 more ushers and two security supervisors to keep tabs on the football crowds once the alcohol started flowing." The extra manpower "cost almost $50,000, but police incidents actually went down at the stadium, compared to the previous dry season." McGinnis: "Maybe we were overstaffed. Hopefully, going forward (alcohol sales) will actually have some return for us.” Brooks reports UM by next year "expects to clear $14,000 or so" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/20). In Minnesota, John Vomhof wrote while UM's alcohol-related figures are "somewhat surprising, the true impact of serving beer and wine is probably harder to quantify." For example, UM "had estimated that the beer ban had cost it more than" $1M in premium seating revenue from "companies and individuals who cancelled their suite or seat purchases or who opted not to buy them in the first place" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 3/19).
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