Texas fans cheer during a NCAA football game at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American Statesman)

Football

Texas fans drink up; alcohol sales jumped more than 70 percent in 2016

Longhorns fans bought $701,234 in beer and wine during the Notre Dame game alone during blockbuster double-OT win

Posted December 20th, 2016

Story highlights
  • Athletic department netted $1.3 million in 2016 as part of its agreement with 1883 Provision Co.
  • Texas fans bought 98,535 Miller Lites making it the No. 1 seller at UT games.
  • Fans bought only $128,321 worth of wine, $141,632 in liquor.

Longhorns fans soaked up the suds this season at Royal-Memorial Stadium.

Alcohol sales spiked more than 70 percent during the 2016 season compared to the previous year as Texas generated $3.1 million in revenue from beer, wine and liquor sold at football games.

According to data obtained through an open records request, Texas raked in $2.8 million in beer sales, $128,321 in wine sales and another $141,632 in liquor sales during six home games in what ultimately became a 5-7 season.

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The athletic department netted about $1.3 million of those sales as part of its contract with 1883 Provision Company, a UT spokesman said.

“Concessions are a big part of the fan experience at Texas athletics events,” UT associate athletic director Rebecca Haden said. “Our fans have enjoyed the addition of beer and wine to the menu as shown by the outstanding numbers from this football season.”

Haden pointed out that UT benefited from good weather for all six home games. All concession sales suffered in 2015 when several games had less than ideal weather, including a steady downpour against Kansas State.

Final numbers on alcohol-related incidents in 2016 have not been finalized. However, “preliminary results show a reduction in alcohol-related incidents when compared to last season,” Haden said.

“This is a credit to our great fans as well as the mandatory alcohol training that all working staff must complete,” she said.

The school generated just $1.8 million in alcohol sales during the 2015 season, the first that beer and wine was sold at all public concession stands. Previously, alcohol sales had been confined to the private clubs and suites. The final number of $3.087 million from 2016 was a 71.5 percent year-over-year increase.

Miller Lite is still the beer of choice for Texas fans sitting in the stands, but it’s a close race with Coors Light. Fans bought 98,535 Miller Lites this season compared to 62,275 sold in 2015. That alone brought in $788,280 in revenue.

Fans bought 95,096 Coors Lights during the season, generating $761,168 in revenue. Coming in a distant third was Bud Light. Texas sold only 34,257 of those, according to UT records.

Want to know what doesn’t sell? Budweiser. The once-proud “King of Beers” is almost a non-starter with the UT crowd. Texas sold 89 cans of Bud all season. Fans cracked open 1,411 Shiner Bocks and 741 Michelob Ultras, by comparison. And fans guzzled 952 Lone Stars.

Another interesting aspect is the breakdown of alcohol sales by game. The season opener against No. 10 Notre Dame was arguably the best game of the year, a 50-47 double-overtime thriller. The excitement was reflected at the cash registers. Texas generated $701,234 in alcohol revenue for that game alone. A capacity crowd of 102,315 fans packed Royal-Memorial Stadium for a game that started at 6:42 p.m. on a warm September night.

The rest of the season saw steady alcohol sales, ranging from $424,173 against Iowa State (Oct. 15) to $519,111 for West Virginia (Nov. 12). All other home games fall within those sales ranges.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email [email protected].

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