Monday, May 17, 2010

Beer Sales at Michigan Stadium?

Thanks to Maize and Brew (Who else when it comes to alcohol?) for catching this one...

Minnesota Legislature reviewing beer and alochol sales at New TCF Gopher Stadium.

If you don't click on the link above, allow me to summarize: They are reviewing and there's a very slim chance that anything happens this year with respect to getting legislation passed. So, it's just being debated at this point. And this won't be general beer sales to the public, ONLY THE PREFERRED SEATING in the stadium....About 1/3 of the seats.

Hmmmm....I have often said that there should be privileges for people willing to spend more at Collegiate Sporting events to support their alma mater. I always thought that it was incredibly "unfair" that the University of Michigan for a century charged one ticket price and where your seat ended up was based on seniority and loyalty - that was it. I would have paid extra to move to a better seat, having been stuck in the end zone for the better part of 20 years.

However, now that I see what the University CHARGES for this privilege, I'm surprisingly happy in my endzone seats. Strange, isn't it? As soon as the option was put on the table, at the ridiculously steep price of $375 for the cheapeast annual PSL's all the way up to $500 for the 50 yard line, I decided that my end zone seats are perfect for viewing the University of Michigan. Funny, isn't it? I can't imagine dropping another $700-$1,000 annually to watch a football game 7-8 times a year that's 20 yards to the left of where I sit now. It simply doesn't make financial sense for me.

But this puts a different twist on it....Suddenly, what if Michigan decides to follow Minnesota's lead? And this isn't a stretch folks, it's the reality of this economy and trying to get more money into the athletic coffers. Other schools have tried it to support revenue and, contrary to popular belief, the NCAA DOES NOT HAVE A RULE against it during the regular season, leaving it up to the individual institutions and public legislatures to decide. They, The NCAA, does ban beer sales at National Championship events to the general public. However, that's even a little hypocritical as anyone who has ever attended an NCAA basketball event in a suite (for example, at the Palace - I was able to get the company suite when the Palace hosted the 1st and 2nd round) knows that you can pretty much do whatever you want in the suite and the beer and alcohol sales were just fine.

A little research indicates that $1.2 - $1.5 million of additional revenue could be realized if beer sales were made legal in Michigan Stadium. That's an additional $9.6-$12 Million per season. Think there's not some thought being given to that? But would it change my mind about moving to an "alcohol priveleges" seat if I had an opportunity to do so?

I know, those of you that know me know that I enjoy a cocktail or two during sporting events. Is that not an American past time? Yes, I have certainly gone the temperance route when situations dictated it. Like having kids at the game or another commitment after the game that required me to be straight and on the up an up. So, while it's possible to go to a game and not drink, I believe there is an enhancement realized when one can have a beer pre-game and get fired up. That's just me and I am not ashamed at this point in my life to admit it, political correctness and MADD be damned.

But in this case, do I want or need to drink WHEN I'm in the stadium? Believe it or not, I don't think so. I was recently at a Tiger game and paid the exorbitant fee of $8.50 for a suds to wash down the $3.50 peanuts I bought. And that one beer, while it was cold, frothy, and tasted delightful when combined with the salty peanuts, didn't taste nearly good enough to entice me into getting another one. And it certainly wouldn't have tasted as good as the $10 felt in my pocket.

So, I guess it again becomes a question of economics, for me personally. And $8.50, or whatever Michigan Stadium would try to charge, would simply be too much for my budget to really be able to drink and enjoy it. So, I'll still drink my 2 or 3 beers at the pre-game tailgate and enjoy the activity outside of the stadium and pocket the extra $25 or so it will cost me to drink inside.

Assuming of course, it will ever come to this....

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