When the UT football team takes the field - Saturday - for the home opener -- it will also be the debut for something else ... Alcohol sales. Concession vendors spent Friday setting up areas where beer and wine will be sold at DKR on game day.
"We purchased enough beer where we will not run out. We have 3 back to back home games and we will make sure we have the supplies and where they will be needed in the stadium,” said Jim Fjelstul with UT Vendor Sodexo.
Wine sells for $8 - which is the same price for domestic beer. A smaller specialty craft beer is a dollar more. Some of it will be available on tap-- but most of the beer will be in cans- which were hauled into the stadium on large pallets. A sales limit will be enforced.
"2 per person or 2 per ID. How do you do that? We make sure when they come we check their IDs, anybody under 30 will have to show a valid ID. We make sure they only get the 2 beers, we have monitors around the stadium in there making sure they are not handing them off, or they are frequently visiting. We check to see that they don’t have multiple beverages under their seat, so we have trained people to help us with that,” said Fjelstul.
Alcohol sales will immediately stop at the start of the 4th quarter. If you are in line at the time you will not be able to purchase alcohol.
The University didn’t make the decision overnight; they have been selling alcohol in the Club Level and Suites for more than a decade. And for the past year the University has been doing somewhat of a taste test to see what would happen if alcohol was sold in the stands."
A softball tournament - February 28th, 2014- was the first venue at UT to offer alcohol. Sales were later expanded to baseball and basketball games. Then at the Texas relays. Eventually alcohol was served at all sporting events except football. The decision to bring it to DKR was made after administrators calculated the amount of money fans spent on concessions more than doubled during the test period, which ended in June. The increase in revenue created the need for more workers. Bob Kimsey in among the new hires. Up until a few months ago he had to travel out of town to get to his job.
"You're absolutely right I couldn't turn it down, great opportunity, to stay in Austin as I was commuting up north to Waco every day, It’s been great for my wife and family not commuting every day,” said Kimsey.
It’s estimated - come Saturday- about 1300 people will be helping to serve up this new game day experience.
Agents with TABC will not be at DKR Saturday monitoring alcohol sales in the stadium, that job will be done by UT Police. Administrators tell me they believe alcohol inside DKR will actually help prevent binge drinking during the game and at tailgates.