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Minnesota lost money on alcohol sales in 2012

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

As universities continue to explore new ways to make money off college football, the University of Minnesota might be a cautionary tale.

Minnesota began selling wine and beer at football games last season and according to the Associated Press, the university actually lost $16,000 on the initiative. The school did make more than $900,000 in sales during the season.

So where did all the money go?

Well, the university said it had to hire additional police and security as well as purchase tents and other equipment. The university also said it gave about half of the $900,000 to Aramark Corp., which had the contract to sell beer and wine.

University officials told the Associated Press that selling alcohol was never about turning a profit. Which begs the question, why do it at all? And to top that off, the school is going to try to sell alcohol at basketball and hockey games as well. A state lawmaker currently has a bill in the works.

Minnesota did say that it expects to turn a profit from alcohol sales this upcoming season since $30,000 of last year’s costs were part of one-time expenses.

So, as other universities and venues mull over the positives of selling alcohol, they should probably study Minnesota’s model as part of their decision.

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