Minnesota Cracks Open a Can of New Revenue

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Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson, USA Today Sports

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Seeking the opportunity to drive more revenue and interest in events, the University of Minnesota is planning to expand its beer and wine sales beyond the confines of TCF Bank Stadium.

According to Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune, the university is planning to open up beer and wine sales to those sitting in general admission seats at Williams and Mariucci arenas.

What do you need to know?

1. The school has been selling beer and wine at TCF Bank Stadium since 2012.

2. Since then, the university has seen an average of $1.3 million in annual revenue from the sale of beer and wine at the stadium.

3. The school expects that this move will bring in $250,000 in annual revenue at both arenas.

4. Before this move, beer and wine sales at the arenas was confined to premium seating areas.

Minnesota isn’t the only one…

Minnesota isn’t the only university recently to turn to beer and wine to help pad the bottom line. In fact, for the first time ever this year, the NCAA decided to allow the sale of beer and wine at the Final Four.

Here’s a quick look at some of the more recent news surrounding the greater trend of beer and wine sales at college sporting events.

1. College World Series to Sell Beer and Wine – In 2016, the NCAA announced that they would allow the sale of beer and wine at the CWS as part of a pilot program to decide on whether or not they would move forward with more championship events.

2. NCAA Approves the Sale of Beer and Wine at Championships – Just over a year ago, the NCAA Division I Council voted to allow the sale of adult beverages at all of its championship events. Since then, beer and wine sales have been permitted at the Football Championship Subdivision’s championship game, all three wrestling divisions, the men’s lacrosse championships, men’s ice hockey and women’s volleyball championships.

3. Illinois Jumps on the Train – Earlier this month, the University of Illinois announced that it too would begin selling beer during athletic events at Memorial Stadium and State Farm Center beginning this fall.

4. A Growing Trend – According to multiple reports, more than 50 of the 129 D1 FBS programs now allow in-stadium beer and wine sales.

Competition plays a factor too…

With all of the major professional sports teams within a 50-mile radius of the campus of the University of Minnesota, revenue isn’t the only goal.

In order to draw attention from fans and keep them engaged when there is a plethora of other options, beer and wine sales put the venues on an even playing field when it comes to that variable, at least according to one Regent.

“We have to be competitive with other venues.” – Regent Michael Hsu to Olson when talking about the other motives behind the decision to open up sales to a broader group of ticketholders.