Apogee Stadium to begin beer sales on Saturday

Apogee Stadium to begin beer sales on Saturday

Apogee Stadium to begin beer sales on Saturday
September 03
22:44 2014

By Scott Sidway/Staff Writer

When the doors at Apogee Stadium open on Saturday morning, the University of North Texas will officially become one of only 21 college campuses in the country that serves beer at home football games.

Four concession stands located at the corners of the stadium will serve 16-ounce beers for $6 each. Bud Light, Miller Light, Michelob Ultra, Bud Light Lime, Shiner and Dos Equis will all be available, with one booth serving a variety of craft beers as well.

Metzler’s Barbecue will provide the alcohol. Roy Metzler, owner of Metzler’s, explained that the booths were placed strategically in order to prevent a traffic jam in the middle of the concourses.

“The thought was, have it readily available,” Metzler said. “But don’t have it right in the middle where people that don’t want to mess with it don’t have to mess with it.”

The sale of beer on a college campus comes with risk, because of the possibility of underage students attempting to purchase alcohol. But, Metzler said the employees handling alcohol sales are handpicked by him, TABC certified and extremely prepared.

“Every booth will have four of my people,” Metzler said. “There will be two up front, and then two that will be pulling the beers. If there’s any question, I’ll have my guy up front asking to see an I.D. So we’ve got two people in every booth that are doing nothing but checking I.Ds.”

Another possible concern is the increased risk of alcohol-induced behavior in the stands. However, UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal believes that stadium beer sales will have the opposite effect on drunken behavior.

“A study over a period of years has shown that when they started selling beer inside the stadiums, there were less incidents inside and outside the stadium,” Villarreal said. “When they knew they could come inside and still buy a beer, they didn’t just have to drink as many as they could before they came inside. They tended not to drink as much outside. Then once you have fans inside, you can control them better.”

While the Apogee security staff is not expecting any issues, UNT Police Services Captain Jim Coffey said his team is being proactive about preventing potential problems.

“There will be a few extra bodies,” Coffey said. “But the main thing we’re doing is repositioning the man power from the outside and distributing it inside as well.”

In addition to strict enforcement of standard alcohol laws, sales will be limited to two beers per purchase, with each beer requiring the showing of an I.D. In other words, it will not be possible for one fan who is over 21 to purchase a beer for a friend in the stands who is not.

Beer will also be unavailable for purchase after the end of the third quarter.  However, if a fan is already in line prior to the clock striking zero, then the fan will be allowed to make a purchase.

While Saturday will mark the first day in UNT history that beer is served at a football game, Villarreal believes all the correct steps have been taken to ensure a smooth inaugural game.

“We’re going to make sure that we educate people as they come into the stadium,” Villarreal said.  “We have extra security, and we have extra people in the stands right now with our CSC people. So we’re a little overkill to make sure we have enough people around.”

Apogee has never sold out a football game in its four-year existence, but Villarreal said he thinks beer sales will bring more people in. He also said this could be the stepping-stone to selling beer at other sporting events.

“I think as we go through this process we’re thinking about those other sports where this would be feasible to do,” Villarreal said.

Featured Image: Metzler’s Apogee concession stand doesn’t sell wine or cigars, but it will be selling beer at Friday’s game. Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

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