Big Ten AD meetings: Teague fields increased questions on beer sales
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The University of Minnesota currently stands as the only school in the Big Ten to allow beer sales at its football games.
However, other universities are starting to look further into the idea of similar policies.
Alcohol sales have come up as a talking point this week at the Big Ten's athletic director meetings in Rosemount, Ill. In turn, Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague is encountering increased questions from his fellow ADs about Minnesota's policy and the effect it has had in the two years since the Minnesota legislature approved alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium.
"Now vs. last year or the year before, it's become more of an issue. Some are considering it," Teague told ESPN's Big Ten blog.
The Gophers sell beer only in a designated area of the stadium, opened from an hour prior to kickoff until halftime.
Minnesota's alcohol policy was originally instituted on a two-year trial basis, but the university has indicated a desire to continue the sales. It will require further legislative approval in July.
After reporting a $15,000 loss in revenue in its first year of alcohol sales in 2013, Minnesota rebounded to take in a $181,678 share of profits last season, according to the Star Tribune.
However, a widespread rollout of similar policies at other Big Ten schools doesn't appear like it will be happening in the immediate future. Penn State and Michigan Sate are among the universities who have said they have no plans of introducing alcohol sales.
MSU AD Mark Hollis said there are no plans for beer sales at Michigan State
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) May 14, 2014
ADs Barta (Iowa) and Alvarez (Wisconsin) say alcohol sales not happening at their schools. Can't even advertise beer sales at Wisconsin.— ESPN Big Ten (@ESPN_BigTen) May 14, 2014
But as ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg pointed out, football attendance concerns among Big Ten ADs could soon cause more universities to consider the sale of alcohol at games.
Other Big Ten notes
• The Big Ten remains on track to introduce a nine-game conference football schedule in 2016. As Teague and others addressed, the expanded conference slate makes it more difficult to schedule non-league games, especially ones that would take place at a neutral site.
"It's hard for us to move off campus and take a game away from our stadium, that's my biggest issue," Minnesota AD Norwood Teague said. "That was built for a purpose, and $150 million of that stadium was paid for by taxpayer dollars. You've got to serve the people."
• Kickoff times for the Big Ten's slate of homecoming games have been announced. For those Gophers fans hoping for fewer late morning start times in the season ahead, there are already two on Minnesota's schedule. The Gophers will host Purdue at 11 a.m. on Oct. 18 before serving as Illinois' homecoming foe Oct. 25 at 11 a.m.
• With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland bumping the conference up to 14 teams, the Big Ten men's basketball tournament is expanding from four days to five days. A revised format for the tournament, which will start on a Wednesday next March in Chicago, has not yet been set.