BEVO BEAT

Bill Powers: Alcohol sales will be ‘very controlled’

Posted February 27th, 2014

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Ice-cold history will be served in $8 fashion at Friday’s softball double-header as University of Texas officials received final approval to start serving beer and wine at Longhorns sporting events this spring.

The school announced that alcohol will be served at men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball as well as a marked area at the Texas Relays. But no beer will be served at the Texas spring football game on April 19.

In a statement issued by the school, athletic director Steve Patterson called it a “trial,” indicating alcohol could be served at football games this fall “provided the outcome of the trial is positive.”

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In an interview with the American-Statesman, UT President Bill Powers said the school will receive “marginal revenue” but this decision was more about enhancing the fan experience.

“A lot of adult fans and alumni would like to have a beer,” Powers told the American-Statesman. “As a general rule, we’d like to make it a good experience when they come to our events. There are young people there, too. That’s been a thought and reason in the past why we have not served.

“We are rigorous about enforcing underage drinking,” Powers added. “It will be very controlled.”

Under-age drinking is still a problem on college campuses nationwide. There are 29 other schools around the country selling alcohol at sporting events, including Big 12 members West Virginia and Kansas State. But Powers is ultimately responsible for what happens at one.

“One of the things we are concerned about is pre-game binge drinking,” Powers said. “You go to a lot of places, away games, even home games, most of the incidents anecdotally that I have witnessed come before the game starts. People tailgate and they think they’ve got to polish off whatever they have sort of in a binge.

“That is a problem,” he added. “That certainly will be a strong factor in our thinking going forward.”

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