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Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says The Big House will remain alcohol-free

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan
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Nov 30, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; General view before the game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium. (Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Several schools across the country have opted to sell alcohol at their stadiums in recent years. Michigan won’t be following that trend.

According to MLive.com, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said the school’s policy on alcohol will not change, even in premium seating areas, mainly because of the logistics of managing alcohol sales at a stadium packed with 110,000 people.

“I just don’t think we need to do that,” Brandon said. “You’ve got to set up places to vendor this stuff and you’ve got to make sure you’re selling it to the right people, not the wrong people, and then you’ve got to deal with all the ramifications of alcohol being served in an area where you’ve got a lot of young people and a lot of underage people.”

Just last month, the University of Texas began selling beer at Longhorns baseball, softball and basketball games. If things go smoothly at those games, and a “testing of the waters” at the Texas spring game at Darrell K. Royal stadium also goes well, there’s a good chance UT fans will be able to buy alcohol during the regular season.

Despite other big-time football teams making the switch and alcohol being sold at Michigan Stadium for the NHL’s Winter Classic, the Wolverines won’t be following suit in the fall.

“Sometimes people lose track of the fact that we have to organize and manage 110,000 to 115,000 people all in one tight space, and get them in there and out of there safely,” Brandon said. “I don’t think serving alcohol is going to make that job any easier.

A boost in revenue is certainly a draw to schools who have begun to sell alcohol, but Brandon said it’s more about appeasing the wants of fans.

“You do it because you’ve got a lot of pressure from your fans and they expect it and it starts to become more the norm.”

In addition to Texas, West Virginia, Iowa State and Minnesota, among other schools, have all made the choice to sell alcohol in recent years. On top of that, the SEC will review its policy on alcohol this spring as it pertains to off-campus games.

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