Beer sales coming to Coliseum club
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 08:10
In response to the success at the football stadium the past few seasons, West Virginia University has decided to extend beer sales, in a limited capacity, to the Coliseum for WVU basketball games this season.
Sales will be restricted to the Ben and Jo Statler Club, and there will be no beer sold in the concourse concession stands.
In addition to beer sales, the Coliseum club will also see renovations including more food options and flat-screen televisions.
"People weren’t using it enough, quite honestly," said West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck. "We talked to a lot of the MAC donors at those (donation) levels, and they said they thought it needed to be upgraded, and there needed to be some attraction there. We thought it made sense to offer those people who have access to the club the chance to buy beer."
Luck said beer sales will begin 90 minutes before each game starts and will conclude at the end of halftime. It will cost fans $6-7 to purchase a beer at the games – less than it costs for football games.
The main reason the sales will not extend to the general seating areas of the Coliseum is due to a lack of restrooms.
"If we had 12 or 13 thousand people in for a game, based on the numbers we’ve experienced at football, we would have restroom lines a mile long in the Coliseum," Luck said. "There are some structural impediments to selling beer to the general fan base."
The success WVU has experienced with beer sales at football games was a big reason it was easy to expand them to the Coliseum.
In 2011, the University made more than $750,000 in beer sales, and that number looks like it is on pace to be even higher this season.
There was more beer sold last week in WVU’s game against Baylor than any other home game during the last two seasons.
"We’ve had a very positive experience with the beer sales at the stadium," Luck said.
"The University and Morgantown Police Departments both think that beer sales in the Coliseum make sense, just like they did with football.
"People have responded in a very responsible,
mature manner (at football games)."
"It seems to have given everybody a level of comfort."
Luck said the model used to start beer sales at the Coliseum is similar to how things began at Mountaineer Field in 1994.
Until last year, when it became available throughout the entire stadium, sales were limited to people sitting in the suites.
"Given the success the program has had for almost 20 years and how well beer sales have gone in general, it makes sense," Luck said. "That’s why we treated it like we did back in 1994; it’s the same approach."
To purchase a beer in the Coliseum Club, fans will need to show proper identification and follow a limit of two beers per purchase.