More American Schools Selling Beer at College Football Games
College football is as big an attraction as the alcoholic beverages that add to the party atmosphere, and some cash-strapped schools in the United States are tapping in on a sure way to bring in more revenue.
An increasing number of schools are selling beer to the general public at college games that used to be alcohol-free zones. On-campus football stadiums that offer a brew to anyone old enough to drink now total 21, doubling the number from five years ago.
Schools such as North Texas, SMU, and Troy University hope to entice more fans to watch the game in-person, instead of viewing it on TV from the comfort of their own couch.
Jeff Schemmel, president of the consulting firm College Sports Solutions LLC says: “Every institution is looking at how they can increase revenue streams, and alcohol is one of those. Everything is on the table.”
In an effort to keep law and order, and to appease those not so keen on the idea, some rules apply. Fans wanting a drink must be wearing a wristband indicating they are at least 21 years old. Beer sales end at halftime or in the third quarter, and a limit of buying two beers at a time is imposed.
Surprisingly, schools that have been in the beer-selling business for some time now do not report an increase in fan misconduct. Some attribute this to the fact that instead of chugging as many beers as possible before entering the stadium, fans can simply get beer inside.
With about half of their concessions revenue coming from the sale of alcohol, or about $200,000 a season, the stakes are too high to worry about the opinions of those opposed to the idea. Although the majority of college stadiums still ban alcohol completely or at least from general seating areas, beer-selling schools feel they have nothing to lose as fans enjoy the in-stadium experience and as the money keeps rolling in.