With the arrival of new Texas Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson, there was also a promise of a new day. The new Texas regime would no longer mirror the tenure of DeLoss Dodds who had stood the test of time, but willingly stepped aside as time caught up with him, and the needs of the athletic program demanded someone with the energy, resources, connections, and foresight to take things to the next level.
Apparently, Texas agrees with the move current West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck made last year, as word is circulating the Longhorns will be selling beer at all sporting events going forward, beginning with this evening’s womens’ basketball contest between Texas and the TCU Horned Frogs.
Beer sales at sporting events had been considered by Dodds, but the notion didn’t ever gain the momentum needed for the changes necessary to take place. Regardless, Texas was wise to let West Virginia be the guinea pig and the first to take the plunge of in-stadium beer sales to see how the experiment would pan out, what risks would be involved, and if the risk would outweigh the rewards, or vice versa.
The “West Virginia Experiment” was largely a successful one on a couple of fronts. Tailgating incidents were minimized as the need for students and drink-happy alumni to return to their tailgates during halftime or lulls to pound a few drinks was minimized when beers were available — legally and in the stadium — at their disposal.
Due to simple supply and demand, and to mitigate risk at the same time, the Mountaineers were able to charge a hefty price for a beer — just like you would expect at any other major sporting event — and made a killing in the process.
There’s little doubt that Steve Patterson is going to be willing to take the calculated risks that his predecessors may not have been, and if the risks pay off, the athletic department’s already hefty bottom line will be the beneficiary.
There will always be the bad actors that make a decision like this one look unreasonable, but if it works for the majority — especially in a stadium like Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial — the economic impact will be hard to ignore. Beer costs next to nothing to offer, and the markup is through the roof. It’s a money-maker of the highest degree.
So, the natural question, now, is:
Which Austin microbrew will be the first official sponsor of Texas sports.
There’s certainly no shortage who will be lining up for that opportunity, I can promise you that.
It’s a marriage made in beer lovers’ heaven.
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer and the Hiring Manager for Rant Sports.