North Texas Daily

University weighing options on Apogee alcohol

University weighing options on Apogee alcohol

University weighing options on Apogee alcohol
September 10
08:22 2013

Mollie Jamison / Staff Writer

It’s the season of college football, tailgating and game day drinking.

Schools like the University of Louisiana-Monroe began allowing the sale of alcohol inside their football stadium this year, but purchasing and consuming alcohol inside Apogee Stadium is still prohibited.

“We know that in the past four or five years a lot of schools have been allowing alcohol sales inside their stadiums,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Eric Capper said. “There is sort of a national trend to start allowing that. We are in constant consultation with university lawyers, the university president and board of regents members to determine if it’s a good situation for us.”

Capper said that any institution or athletic venue that allows alcohol sales inside their venue has shown an increase in revenue.

“The thing that we have to weigh is at what cost does that revenue line then impact negatively our fans, our students and the people that come to our game,” Capper said. “It would bring in more revenue, but we have to balance that with making sure that it’s a friendly and safe environment for our people to watch games.”

Capper said the obvious safety concerns associated with the sale of alcohol inside the stadium include underage drinking and overconsumption.

“Binge drinking is a huge issue on college campuses, and we want to make sure we are doing our part to avoid that,” Capper said.

Vice President of Pi Kappa Phi and converged broadcast media junior Taylor Lindholm said that if alcohol were sold inside the stadium it would not only increase revenue but also attendance.

“If you go to an UNT football game, you see a lot of empty seats,” Lindholm said. “The games are always exciting, and they are free for students, but this doesn’t seem to fill the stands. I wish it wasn’t this way, but selling alcohol at the games might significantly boost attendance and support for the Mean Green.”

Alcohol can currently be consumed at The Hill, where student organizations tailgate before the football games, next to Apogee stadium. Lindholm said his fraternity tailgates before every game.

“Members who are over 21 sometimes choose to drink. Too often people see the passed out, ‘frat guy’ stereotype, which I despise,” Lindholm said. “Football is like a religion in Texas, and tailgating is a significant part of our culture that UNT has thankfully embraced.”

Alpha Tau Omega member and dance junior Christopher Lafuente said he thinks tailgating is important because it gives everyone a chance to get together and get excited before the games.

“As far as alcohol is concerned I think UNT has done a good job of letting those of age exercise their drinking privileges,” Lafuente said.

Capper said when people come to North Texas games, tailgating is a part of the overall experience.

“It’s not just what happens on the field, it’s the relationships that you build, it’s the ability to fellowship with fellow alums, business partners, neighbors and friends in the parking lot,” Capper said. “We as an athletic department understand that a lot of times alcohol consumption goes along with tailgating and what people consider to be the atmosphere outside the stadium. We are very knowledgeable and very aware of the national trend for schools to start allowing the sale of alcohol inside the stadium.”

Capper said if the current policy changed there would be a campaign to promote safe and responsible drinking. He said anyone that is caught breaking the law will be turned over to the UNT Police Department.

Cpl. John DeLong, community relations officer for the UNT Police Department, said in addition to a city of Denton citation, students could be referred to the Dean of Students’ office for a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

DeLong said since Apogee opened in 2011 there have been three minor in consumption cases, 10 minor in possession cases and seven public intoxications at the stadium, but he did not know if the violations were inside or outside Apogee’s gates.

Feature photo by Ryan Vance / Intern 

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