People like to drink when they’re watching sports. I’m not aware of any actual study done on this topic, but I’m fairly certain that it’s one of the most accurate things that I’ve ever written, and thanks to SMU, I’m now even more convinced.
According to a report from the Dallas Morning News, SMU sold nearly $350,000 worth of beer and wine at 13 homes games in 2014, more than half of the almost $650,000 in concession sales from Moody Coliseum. The Mustangs didn’t start selling the booze during games until January, when the newly-renovated arena was reopened.
Nine of those 13 games were sellouts, meaning all 7,000 seats were filled, and while this was the first season that SMU was selling alcohol at games, those sellouts were more likely the result of the team actually being good than the fact that a booster would be able to sip on an overpriced light beer while watching the game.
In order for students to drink, they needed a wrist-band saying they were over 21. Only three drinks were allowed to be sold per to each of-age student, with tabs given out as the students entered the arena.
More schools are beginning to use booze as a way to generate more revenue at their athletic events, and while not all of that money goes back to the university — Aramark and other vendors will get their cut, too — but this is possibly a way to bring in money to pay for things like full-cost of attendance scholarships or even a stipend for the athletes.
Having beer available at the games might also be a way to curb some of the pregame binge-drinking.