DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The University of North Texas will start selling beer on the concourse level of Apogee Stadium for all home football games this fall, beginning with the home opener against Southern Methodist University on Sept. 6.
"We carefully studied all issues related to making beer available in Apogee Stadium, and from every angle, it makes sense," said UNT President Neal Smatresk. "At UNLV, my experience was that selling beer helped to more carefully regulate alcohol consumption and encouraged more fans to watch the game in the stadium. It also cumulatively improved revenues and had no negative impact on the overall experience of all fans."
North Texas joins a growing list of schools already selling beer in public areas at athletic events. SMU announced it will follow last season's basketball introduction with beer sales at Gerald J. Ford Stadium this football season, and will join Texas, Texas Tech, UT Arlington, UT-El Paso, UT-San Antonio and Houston as state universities that currently serve beer at designated athletic events.
The athletics department, university administration, the office of risk management and University police were all part of the collaborative effort to develop a plan to create an environment that will not negatively affect the enjoyment of the game for any fans. Beer will only be sold in controlled areas of the stadium, away from the designated family fun area under the north end zone stands.
"The addition of beer sales has been something we discussed since the construction of Apogee Stadium began," Director of Athletics Rick Villarreal said. "In a market where we are in constant competition for the consumers' entertainment dollar, we have to provide the amenities sport enthusiasts expect. With the addition of beer sales in the stadium, we will now offer what venues like AT&T Stadium and the American Airlines Center have provided from day one."
Metzler's Catering will manage beer sales. The company already handles alcohol sales in the club and suite levels of Apogee Stadium. The University applied for and was granted a license to sell alcoholic beverages throughout the facility when it was constructed three years ago.
"While this undertaking was implemented to broaden our ability to serve our fans, we also expect it to be a revenue generator," Villarreal said. "The total budgetary impact is hard to estimate, but we believe it will have a cumulative effect, driving additional ticket sales as well as increasing food and merchandise sales."