UNT Says Beer Sales at Football Games Are Ongoing Discussion

Athletic director says sales could mean fewer problems with tailgating binge-drinking

By Brian Scott
|  Friday, Sep 27, 2013  |  Updated 7:41 PM CDT
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The University of Texas says it has been toying with the idea of beer sales at Apogee Stadium during football games.

Brian Scott, NBC 5 Denton County Reporter

The University of Texas says it has been toying with the idea of beer sales at Apogee Stadium during football games.

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University of North Texas leaders say they've long toyed with the idea of adding beer vendors to Apogee Stadium and other campus venues.

Like many college sports venues across the country, no alcohol is allowed in the Mean Green's football stadium.

But Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said it's been an ongoing discussion. He said he has watched closely as other venues tackle the topic.

"It's a trend that we've watched across country," he said. "We've seen that increasingly happen in stadium settings."

Villarreal said there are some real benefits to beer sales, such as new profits. But he also said beer sales could actually have a positive effect on safety.

Right now, tailgating and drinking is allowed in several parking lots around the stadium. While the activities are monitored by safety officials, the lack of alcohol inside can lead people to over-indulge before games, Villarreal said.

UNT specifically has a no-reentry policy at Apogee to keep people from coming and going to consume alcohol during games.

But other stadiums that allow alcohol sales have fewer problems with binge-drinking, including at UNT title games at professional stadiums, Villarreal said.

"People know, once they get inside, they can have another drink if they wanted one, and so I don't think there's the tendency to binge drink, and that's the problems we worry about," he said.

Villarreal added that beer sales would also allow the university to better monitor consumption, check IDs for underage drinking and compete with the pro sports teams and other events that offer alcohol.

But not everyone sees beer sales in a college setting as a good thing.

"With underage drinking and a lot of people and adults bring their children to games, and I don't really think it would be a good idea," UNT student Sage Bazan said.

"It's not really going to stop anybody from showing up drunk," said grad student Andy Kenney, who also said he wouldn't be opposed to stadium alcohol sales. "Why not? Why not? I mean most other professional sports do the same thing. It's like any other sporting event, I'm sure."

Because there are a lot of opinions on both sides of the matter, UNT is not rushing the topic, Villarreal said.

"It's not something that anybody would just jump into very easily," he said. "You know, you have a lot of discussions with a lot of people and, at the end of the day, the thing that we're trying to achieve is the best fan experience."

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