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Dr. Saturday

Don’t expect public beer sales at Camp Randall anytime soon

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Camp Randall


About two weeks ago, West Virginia fans were outraged at the possibility of alcohol being sold at Milan Puskar Stadium during games and that fan backlash has caused at least one other athletic director to back away from the subject altogether.

Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez told Madison.com that he has no plans to add beer to the concession menu despite the revenue stream it could generate.

"I wouldn't even try to bring it up," Alvarez told the website. "But there are other factors involved as far as regulation and philosophy. I just think there's a lot more to it than just another revenue stream."

The additional revenue stream was exactly what compelled West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck to go to his board of governors and ask that they consider the addition for this coming season.

Currently, 20 college stadiums have alcohol sales, but most of those venues are either city-owned or pro sports homes. Schools such as Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, Akron and Maryland started beer sales to the public in 2009. But there are several more stadiums that offer alcohol in the club seats and suites. Wisconsin in one such venue.

According to the article on Madison.com, adding beer sales could give Wisconsin more than $1 million in increased revenue. But the argument against it -- as it is at West Virginia -- is that alcohol turns an already rowdy atmosphere into a worse scenario.

In 2008, Nevada surveyed its season ticket holders to determine whether they wanted to keep beer sales. While the majority said yes, they also wanted more security, which prompted the school to train addition personnel in conflict resolution.

To stem altercations, most stadium end beer sales after halftime.

Still Alvarez said he's interested to see what happens if West Virginia's Board of Governors decides to approve the measure and if other schools ultimately follow suit.

But don't expect Wisconsin to jump on the bandwagon. The school is one of the few that doesn't even allow alcohol-related signage in its stadium.

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