SBD/August 22, 2014/Colleges

UW To Sell Beer, Wine In New Standing-Room Section, The Latest School To Offer Alcohol

UW will not make alcohol available in any of Husky Stadium's general-admission areas
Univ. of Washington football fans "will be able to buy alcohol at a new standing-room-only section of Husky Stadium this season," according to Nick Eaton of SEATTLEPI.com. Beer and wine will be available before and during games "at the recently renovated stadium’s new 'Off-Leash Deck.'" The section "is located on the Northwest Deck, between the new Don James Center and football offices." Space in the new section "is limited and tickets will be available for $25 apiece." UW Associate AD/PR & Communications Carter Henderson said that Husky Stadium "has never sold alcohol in general admissions areas" and it "still won’t." While alcohol "is available in luxury boxes and was introduced to the Husky Club last year, the Off-Leash Deck still isn’t part of the stadium’s general admissions area" (SEATTLEPI.com, 8/20). If UW "sells out the 'Off-Leash' tickets for its seven-game home schedule, and each person was to buy four beers, the proceeds would be close to $200,000" (KING5.com, 8/21).

SUDS IN THE BUCKET: The AP's Eric Olson writes a growing number of schools "are bringing the party inside, opening taps in concourses that traditionally have been alcohol-free zones." North Texas, SMU and Troy "will begin beer sales to the general public this season," joining the ranks of 21 schools that play in on-campus stadiums "where any fan of legal age can grab a brew." That is "more than twice as many as five years ago." Schools, especially "cash-strapped athletic departments outside the Power 5 conferences," are eyeing ways to "keep fans coming to their stadiums instead of sitting in front of their HD TVs at home or at sports bars." They are also "encouraged by the schools that were among the first to sell alcohol and didn't report an increase in bad behavior from students and other fans." College Sports Solutions President and Former San Diego State AD Jeff Schemmel said, "Every institution is looking at how they can increase revenue streams, and alcohol is one of those." Olson notes there are 11 municipal stadiums where FBS teams "are tenants and alcohol is available to the general public." The municipality "usually keeps most, if not all, of the alcohol proceeds." The NCAA "does not sell alcohol to the general public at its championship events," but schools and conferences "are allowed to make their own policies." Troy AD Jon Hartwell estimated that beer will bring the school "about $200,000 in commissions this season." The school's athletic budget is $20M, and Hartwell said, "That's more impactful to a bottom line for a Troy than it is for a Texas or West Virginia or institutions similar to that." Alcohol proceeds "will be used to pay debt" on a $25M expansion of Troy's football facilities (AP, 8/22).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL STADIUMS WHERE BEER IS SOLD
ON-CAMPUS STADIUMS
SCHOOL STADIUM
Akron InfoCision Stadium
Bowling Green Doyt Perry Stadium
Cincinnati Nippert Stadium
Colorado State Hughes Stadium
Houston TDECU Stadium
Kent State Dix Stadium
Louisiana-Lafayette Cajun Field
Louisville Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium
Nevada Mackay Stadium
North Texas Apogee Stadium
SMU Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Syracuse Carrier Dome
Toledo Glass Bowl
Troy Veterans Memorial Stadium
Tulane Yulman Stadium
UNLV Sam Boyd Stadium
UTEP Sun Bowl Stadium
Western Kentucky Houchens Industries-L. T. Smith Stadium
West Virginia Milan Puskar Stadium
OFF-CAMPUS STADIUMS
SCHOOL STADIUM
Connecticut Rentschler Field
Georgia State Georgia Dome
Hawaii Aloha Stadium
Massachusetts Gillette Stadium*
Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Miami Sun Life Stadium
San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium
South Alabama Ladd-Peebles Stadium
South Florida Raymond James Stadium
Temple Lincoln Financial Field
Texas-San Antonio Alamodome

Note: *UMass plays three games at Gillette Stadium in '14.
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