The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

September 8, 2011

Luck: Beer sales financial success with no major problems

MORGANTOWN — All things considered, the sale of beer was a financial success while failing to cause any real problems with drunkenness or rowdiness at West Virginia University’s first home game at Milan Puskar Stadium Sunday, according to athletic director Oliver Luck.

Helped by a hot day and long, long lightning delays, it was a record day for the concessions sold at the stadium – even if you do not count the beer sales.

There were 21,811 bottles of beer sold along with using up 10 kegs of draft beer to the crowd of 60,758. That gross $160,656.

That netted $75,781.13 to the university.

“I think it is OK,” Luck told WAJR’s “Talkline” show in announcing the figures. “The number is what it is. Those folks who purchased a beer liked they had the opportunity to purchase it, but some thought too hot to have beer.”

That was quite obvious from the figures of what else was sold during the day.

There were 18,803 bottles of water sold, 8,908 cups of frozen lemonade and 8,999 souvenir cups of soda. There was also additional bottles of soda sold, but those figures have not yet been compiled.

Considering that during the long delays people were herded into the concession areas for long periods of time and sales of everything but beer – that having been cut off before the first delay at 7:30 of the third quarter – the concessionaires had a captive crowd who spent their money at a record rate.

Total concessions and catering for the day came to a gross of $548,000, the highest figure ever in the stadium, and it is a figure that does not include the beer sales.

With beer, the concessionaires sold $708,656, nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

If that was a bonanza, so, too, was the news of no major issues connected to the sale of beer.

“What I’m most happy about is there didn’t seem to be any incidents,” Luck said. “We did not serve a number of fans because of a lack of identification.”

Luck understands that this was just the first day and says, “we can’t relax with a game coming up this week and then LSU.”

Security was beefed up for the game and there were a number of people refused service for lack of an ID.

There were six alcohol-awareness team members monitoring Sedexo’s activities throughout the game to make sure laws were followed.

If there was any problem it was with crowded concourses, even after beer sales were suspended.

“Historically our concourses have been packed – pre-beer, post-beer,” Luck said. “We’re looking into expanding the footprint of the stadium.”

Part of the problem, Luck said, was that the university didn’t do a good enough job with its signage and part of it is stadium design.

“There is just really not enough space there. It’s hard to walk from one end of the concourse to the other at any time. In the older buildings, this is a problem. People weren’t selling as much stuff – food and merchandise – as they are now,” Luck said.

One area that was adequately taken care of was restrooms. “There were no reports of long restroom waits,” Luck said. “That was one of the biggest worries had going into the game.”

Email Bob Hertzel at Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

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