William McRaven

Beer sales at Texas home games has support of new president

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A changing of the guard at the University of Texas may provide a glimmer of hope for fans wanting to spend a few bucks on a frosty beverage at a Texas Longhorns football game this fall.

Greg Fenves, the new University of Texas president, is on record supporting the possibility of beer sales in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Fenves took over the position as president on Wednesday, and it did not take long for somebody to ask him about the topic.

Texas has been experimenting with beer sales at athletic events over the past year, but football has remained off limits. The larger attendance issues appeared to be the biggest hurdle, with Texas needing time to work a system for selling beer at athletic events before going into football beer sales.

“(Former Texas President) Bill Powers and I agreed that we really needed more of an experience of selling beer and wine at our basketball games, baseball and track and field,” Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa said last July. That was when it was decided there would be no beer sales at Texas football games for the 2014 season, ending any speculation it may become a reality last fall. Fenves said this week the university has seen no evidence of security problems from beer sales so far. It is also worth noting Cigarroa had been opposed to the idea, but he is no longer the one who would need to grant approval. That task falls on his successor, William McRaven. If McRaven grants his approval, any proposal involving beer sales would still have to be approved by the board of regents.

A handful of schools have started selling beer at football games, and the results seem to be positive. Obviously the extra income is what drives the discussion, but monitoring the sales and preventing it from leading to a disruptive game day atmosphere is what is a concern. West Virginia and Minnesota have been doing this for a couple of years now, and other schools are openly reviewing the results while making a decision on whether or not it is something they will choose to get into moving forward, Texas included.