Texas considering selling alcohol at football, basketball and baseball games

Christian Corona

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More than 100,000 fans flock to most Longhorns football games but, at least for now, aren’t allowed to have alcohol at Darrell K Royal Texas-Memorial Stadium

That could soon change. UT is considering selling alcohol at football, basketball and baseball games, according to men’s athletics director DeLoss Dodds. Texas would become the third Big 12 school to serve alcohol at football games after Iowa State and West Virginia.

“We talk about it constantly,” Dodds told The Daily Texan. “If we ever did it, we’d probably start with baseball. There’s something about it that doesn’t quite feel right, but there’s people telling me that it might be safer to serve it than not serve it. It’s an issue. I guarantee you we talk about it at almost every other staff meeting.”

The NCAA does not have any rules or policies regulating alcohol sales at regular season games. About 20 major college venues sell alcohol to general fans — and many more only offer it in stadium suites and luxury boxes — according to a 2011 survey by USA Today.

West Virginia began serving alcohol at football games in 2011 and at basketball games last year. It generated $520,000 in revenue from alcohol sales that year, according to an Associated Press report. 

Before West Virginia joined Iowa State as the only Big 12 members to permit alcohol sales at football games, Mountaineers fans were allowed to leave the stadium at halftime and drink before returning to the stadium, which would create an unpleasant atmosphere for other spectators. Texas has no such policy. 

Currently, the University of Texas Club in the stadium, the Cactus Cafe in the Texas Union and the Blanton Museum of Art have alcohol permits on campus, according to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission

No athletics program generates more revenue than the one Dodds runs at Texas, which recorded $163.3 million in revenue during the 2011-12 fiscal year, $103.8 million of that being generated just by the Longhorns football program, according to USA Today. That marked the first time that one sport generated $100 million in one fiscal year.

The decision to sell at alcohol at athletic events, particularly home football games, would create another revenue stream for the most profitable athletics department in the country. But if that decision was made, Dodds said it wouldn’t be for the money. 

“The thing I will say is that it’s not a money thing,” Dodds said. “If we did do it, people would say that they they’re just doing it for the money. It’s not a money issue. It’s a do-the-right-thing issue.”

Published on  March 7, 2013 as "UT considers selling alcohol at games".