Reporting Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We now know how much beer and wine was sold at University of Minnesota football games last fall, and the new figures are raising eyebrows.
That’s because the U of M actually ended up losing thousands of dollars. Beer and wine sales were allowed last fall for the first time ever at a sporting event on campus after getting approval from the Legislature.
Initially the university said it made money on the alcohol sales during the football season, but it turns out that wasn’t quite the case. Beer and wine sales were only allowed in two spots at TCF Stadium and only until the end of the first half of games.
A glass of either cost $7.25. The university ended up selling quite a bit of alcohol, more than $900,000 worth. But after all of the expenses that came along with it were paid off, the University of Minnesota ended up losing almost $16,000 according to the Associated Press.
Some of those expenses included hiring additional police and security staff along with setting up tents and other facilities. A big chunk of the profit went directly to the Philadelphia-based company that was contracted to sell beer and wine.
University officials tell the Associated Press it never was their intent to make money off alcohol sales the first year. However, they do expect to turn a small profit this year since many of last year’s expenses were a one-time deal.
Last year, state lawmakers approved a two-year deal for alcohol sales at football games. It came out of the debate for a new Vikings stadium since the team will play at TCF during part of the construction.
After the two years, lawmakers will re-evaluate to see if sales should continue. And they will be watching the sales very closely between now and then.