There’s a movement afoot in college football. More and more college stadiums are doing the previously unthinkable: selling beer at football games.
Over the last decade-plus — arguably starting with ACC expansion in 2003 — there has been an explosion in the practice and perception of college sports as a money machine. Perpetual conference realignment, huge TV contracts, dedicated conference networks, exploding coaches’ salaries and athletic budgets, Cost of Attendance payments … money is being scraped from, and paid to, every corner of college athletics.
Add beer sales to the list. According to this article from the Orlando Sentinel, only six schools sold beer at football games prior to 2008. Since 2008, 17 more schools have joined the list, bringing the total to 23, and there are likely to be more.
West Virginia started selling beer at games in 2011, and according to former WVU AD Oliver Luck, the Mountaineers net about $750,000 a year from beer sales. That’s not chump change. For perspective, Virginia Tech’s Cost of Attendance payments will add about $950,000 per year to VT’s athletic budget, so it’s reasonable to assume that by selling beer, the Hokies could net a similar amount as WVU and have a new revenue stream that would nearly pay for Cost of Attendance in full.
The issue is complex. Here are a couple of recent articles about beer sales in college stadiums, and you can Google “beer at college football stadiums” to turn up many more articles to read.
Beer sales at football games will be a new challenge to [Texas] administrators – The Daily Texan, June 21st, 2015
Beer sales on rise at college football games, but UCF slow to join movement – The Orlando Sentinel, June 20th, 2015
For some personal perspective, TSL poster Tailgate Guru, who has been attending WVU games for many years, gives his impressions of how beer sales have altered WVU’s game environment:
Here’s what happens when you sell beer at a college football game – Tailgate Guru, June 16, 2015
To our knowledge, Virginia Tech is not considering selling beer at football games, but with beer sales on the rise as detailed above, we wonder if the question isn’t far off for the Hokie athletic brain trust.
You can read as much as you want on the topic, or as little as you want. Either way, the question is simple: should Virginia Tech sell beer in Lane Stadium?
Should Virginia Tech sell beer at football games?
- Yes (40%, 708 Votes)
- No (50%, 884 Votes)
- Not sure / Don't know / It depends (10%, 169 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,761