Here’s something you wouldn’t have heard ten years ago.
New Belgium Brewing has given the school $4.3 million towards the construction of an on-campus football stadium. Both New Belgium and Colorado State are located in Fort Collins, Colorado.
“We’re delighted to expand our partnership with New Belgium Brewing – and to honor the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit of our community by highlighting a tremendously successful, home-grown brand at the new stadium,” CSU president Tony Frank said in a statement.
As part of the gift, New Belgium gets north end zone hospitality naming rights.
A school “in partnership” with a brewery… what’s the world coming to?
And think of the naming possibilities at Georgia. Greg McGarity’s mouth is probably watering just thinking about it: “Marjorie, get Don Leebern on the phone for me, please.”
The future of beer sales at college venues, in two quotes:
One: “We all saw it,” Lyons said. “You see it in pro sports. They control it. People are staying at home, watching on TV, having a cold beer. Now you’re hearing, ‘I want to come [to the game] and have a cold beer.'”
And two: “We’re not talking about life-changing money,” said Kristi Dosh, a sports business contributor to Forbes. “But expenses have gone up.”
Per SB Nation’s Ohio State website, “After an evidently successful pilot program selling beer on only the suite level of Ohio Stadium, Ohio State stadium operations and athletics announced Wednesday that beer would be available stadium wide at fall football games during the 2016 season.”
Here’s the neat trick.
One can only imagine Jimmy Williamson’s reaction if they ever tried that in Sanford Stadium.
If you’re looking for another tell regarding beer sales at Sanford Stadium, check out this coy answer from Greg McGarity.
Will Georgia raise a glass for the sale of chardonnay or local craft-beer like Terrapin or Creature Comforts while fans cheer on the Bulldogs?
Not right now, but athletic director Greg McGarity didn’t rule out what could happen in say five or ten years.
“Who knows?” he said. “There’s a risk and reward in all of that. It’s just something that has not been an issue for us right now. We have not gone down that route. Who knows what will happen as far as revenue opportunities?” [Emphasis added.]
Actually, we all know what happens as far as revenue opportunities go, Greg. You’re just waiting for the right amount of cover against the inevitable clucking. Sooner or later, I know you’ll find the right moment.
I’ll say it for the record: beer sales in Sanford Stadium are a matter of when, not if.
Why am I so confident of that? Because Greg McGarity just got cover from his mentor.
As the alcohol trend in college football continues to grow, Florida is the latest to jump on that revenue train.
In a press release Wednesday, the university announced that it will begin selling beer and wine at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium beginning with the 2016 football season. The catch, though, is that the sale of alcohol will be limited to the premium seating areas of the stadium, specifically the Holloway Touchdown Terrace and Evans Champions Club. The O’Connell Center, the home of the basketball Gators, will also offer alcohol to its premium seat holders.
The school made sure to note in its release that the decision to allow alcohol inside its sports venues is exactly plowing new territory.
Beer and wine sales are commonplace on campuses across the country, including at softball and baseball NCAA Championships. At least 34 schools sell beer at football games, including at least 14 that limit the sale to luxury suites and/or club areas. UF football suite holders have been able to stock alcohol in their suites for several years.
Yeah, they’re keeping it from the hoi polloi at the start. That won’t last, though, ’cause the great unwashed are where the money’s at.
In any event, stay thirsty, Dawgnation. Beer is coming.
You can see where this is headed.
Over/under on when beer sales commence in beautiful Sanford Stadium?
And what an experience:
University of Texas officials might feel a bit of a buzz after selling more than $1.8 million during the school’s first year offering alcoholic beverages at Longhorn football games.
My favorite part of the math…
Alcohol accounted for more than half of the $3.7 million in food and drinks sold at the stadium.
At some point, it’s going to be hard for your average athletics department to ignore that.