Minnesota loses money selling alcohol at college football game, world implodes

Scott Halleran

The University of Minnesota somehow managed to spend more money than it got in its first year selling alcohol at football games.

Minnesota introduced alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium, and of course immediately began raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars, because alcohol and college football, are - wait, what?

The University of Minnesota lost almost $16,000 last year on alcohol sales at football games, despite selling more than $900,000 worth.

It's downright incomprehensible how a team could lose money selling booze at a college football stadium. I mean, its alcohol and college football. The AP mentions that there were $30,000 in startup costs, which would explain why they're in the black - add those $30,000, and Minnesota made about as much as it lost.

But even that serves as a poor excuse for explaining why Minnesota lost money. When West Virginia began selling booze at its football games, it immediately made $700,000 in alcohol sales. West Virginia has slightly higher attendance figures than Minnesota, but not enough to account for $700,000 in alcohol sales differences. So what are the Golden Gophers doing wrong?

A few possibilities:

  • Selling beer to patrons, instead of allowing them to sit on a frozen lake and cut a hole in the ice and pull beer up from below the surface
  • No crossover Golden Gophers/Golden Monkey sponsorship
  • Gophers have notoriously low alcohol tolerances
  • Gophers can't drink from cans or bottles because of large front teeth meant for gnawing on vegetation
  • Oh, and this:

About half of the $900,000 generated by alcohol sales went directly to Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp., which had the contract to sell beer and wine

Wine? At football games? Besides UCLA's athletic director, nobody's springing for the '98 Bordeaux at football games, guys.

It could always just be that a cold beer is nice on a crisp fall afternoon at West Virginia, and, well, isn't so much on a 20-degree November day in the Twin Cities. Regardless, this is sort of weird.

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