AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — More and more college athletic departments these days have got into the business of selling beer or wine at athletic events. According to a report last year on CBS Sports.com, 36 schools offered beer to the general public last football season.
The NCAA, who still bans alcohol from being sold at its venues when it is hosting a championship, even ran a pilot program at last year’s Men’s and Women’s College World Series to see how beer and wine sales in those venues would be welcomed. Some schools use it as another avenue for revenue sales, while some say they are getting out in front, helping ease the binge drinking that goes on during tailgate parties prior to football games.
Where does Clemson stand on this subject?
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich told The Clemson Insider following the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Spring Meetings on Tuesday from the Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island, Fla., that it is not on his school’s radar.
“We have three main venues, Memorial Stadium, Littlejohn (Coliseum) and Doug Kingsmore,” he said. “It has really not been a topic of our conversation as it relates to Memorial Stadium. I think from an infrastructure standpoint it becomes very different.
“Would we look at it at the other two (places) to be able to understand if it would be a good thing? We probably should, just to make sure we have done our due diligence, but I want to emphasis that is not something that is on our radar right now to move forward. It is certainly something out there where we probably need to get a group of folks to go out and do a little due diligence, but it is not something that is on our current path of trying to increase revenue.”
Speaking of revenue, West Virginia reported beer and wine sales of $600,000 in 2015 at its football games, while Texas made $1.8 million.
However at Clemson, it’s not just about making money when it considers new ways to bring more money into its athletic programs. It’s still more about making sure the Clemson Fan Experience is there for everyone who comes and enjoys a ballgame in one of it venues.
“We are always looking for new streams of revenue,” Radakovich said. “We just have to make sure it fits into what our culture is and how people have come to enjoy coming to our athletic events. We do not want to do anything … No amount of beer sales is going to substitute for people buying tickets and being at the event.”