Beer and wine now available at several UT sporting events

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The University of Texas started selling beer and wine Friday and plans to continue offering the drinks for all remaining basketball, baseball and softball contests this spring, the university said.

UT kicked off their alcohol sales Friday at Red & Charline McCombs Field as the Texas softball team hosted the Texas Invitational.

“We could look into expanding it for other sports events next fall provided the outcome of the trial is positive,” said Steve Patterson, men’s athletics director.

If expanded to football, the sales could generate $1 million a year in additional revenue to UT athletics, a program that already pulls in $165 million annually.

UT insists the sales are not about revenue, but “enhancing the fan experience.”

“I’m enhanced, I’m enhanced,” James Dryer said as he laughed. “I’m looking forward to football season to see if they also do it.”

Pepper Jones, walking away with three beers from concessions, was asked if his experience was enhanced. “Most definitely. Especially when it’s 100 degrees in the summer.”

Each beer or glass of wine costs $8.

“It must be their plan,” said Belinda Hare. “Nobody is going to get drunk on $8 a beer, at least no one I know.”

Alcohol will also be available at the fan fest area at the Texas Relays, but the beer and wine trial will not include the spring football game on April 19 at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

At the conclusion of the 2014 spring sports seasons, the university said “UT Athletics, UT Police, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the trial to determine if alcohol should be sold at other sporting events.”

“I think it might be a good thing. I think it might generate a little more money,” said Chad Flint, who lives near McCombs Field. “It might help with sales a little bit. It might encourage students to come more, which might be exciting for more students.”

A University of Texas spokesperson says alcohol sales are allowed at 29 universities across the country in general seating. UT campuses in San Antonio, Arlington and El Paso already allow beer and wine sales at sporting events.

Earlier this week, multiple beer distributors said the university wanted them to be prepared to sell alcohol ahead of Wednesday night’s basketball game against Baylor, but the move was not approved before tip-off.

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