47 Days Til' Kickoff!!
Listening to Chuck & Chernoff on 680 the Fan last week, they had a very interesting discussion that I wanted to hear some expansion on. So, naturally, I leave it up to the loyal readers of FTRS to stimulate discussion, as you've proven to be so adept at doing. The discussion was surrounding alcohol sales at NCAA sporting events. This is prohibited on college campuses, but is allowed if the stadium where the game is played is not on the college's campus. Now, this is all a moot point seeing as we play on campus, but who's to say that rule will never change? Let's say it did. I want to examine both sides of this argument.
The side that is for selling alcohol says that it can be a HUGE fundraiser. The noted example was in the fall of 2009, when the Memphis Tigers decided that they would begin selling beer for their home games (played at the Liberty Bowl). The motivation was to cover for an excess in operating costs, and they hoped to raise around $200,000 altogether. However, after their first home game against Ole Miss, they had raised nearly $120,000, over half of the revenue from food and drink sales at that game. That's one game alone. That being said, it stands to reason that there is significant money to be made from it. At Bobby Dodd Stadium, where we can expect about 52,000 fans at any given game (on average), I would imagine that a significant amount of money could be made off of beer sales. That money could go towards things such as 1) paying off debt, 2) paying off Paul Hewitt, 3) further facilities renovations, 4) retaining our coaching staff for different sports, and that's just off the top of my head. Perhaps a certain percentage could even go towards general campus renovations. The point is, it would produce money that could be allocated in quite a few positive ways for our athletic department and school.
What's the downside to it all, you ask? Oh, and you want my opinion on it all? Keep reading after the jump!
The downside is twofold here. First, there's the obvious issue of college kids being present and already putting themselves at risk of alcohol-related health and legal issues just based off of how they show up to games (or so I'm told, I've never done any of that.....nope, none), with alcohol sales doing nothing that helps to counteract those risks. Some will suggest that beer is simply not sold around the student section concession stands, which at Bobby Dodd are somewhat isolated, but at the end of the day, a determined college kid will not be denied. The other major downside to this is that adding alcohol to a large crowd generally does not improve behavior or promote good decisionmaking. Our fanbase tends to be a classier one, not producing as many shirtless, out-of-order morons as a lot of the schools around, but that's not to say that our fans wouldn't get more out of line than they currently do given more alcohol. It would promote behavior that really doesn't have a place on a college campus at a game being played by student athletes.
My opinion? I think it's worth a shot. It needs to be controlled: what types of beer are sold (considering ABV), cut it off after the third quarter (would really give the Budweiser song a new meaning), hire more security at least to begin with, and don't allow it into the student section, at all. Those 4 measures would control the risks being created by selling beer at Tech football games, and there could still be a very large amount of profit created from allowing it to happen. Tech folks are notorious for enjoying their alcohol, and selling beer at games would prove incredibly profitable, benefiting the school and athletic department. Now, I say that we do this on an experimental basis, cutting it out if there are bad effects coming from it, but I'd still think it's worth a shot.
My opinion doesn't matter here though. Yours does. So let's hear it, FTRS readers! Ready to get drunk in the stands, or would you rather keep the drunken frat boys in the student section?