ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Along with a new 20-acre College Park District the University of Texas at Arlington is adding something else new, this time for athletic fans. For the first time in UTA history beer will be sold at sporting events.
UTA athletic teams are now playing in the new College Park Center. The move to the new $78 million facility changes the ‘game.’
“The difference is that up until February of last year our women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball were playing on the Texas Hall stage,” UTA spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan explained. “And Texas Hall is a traditional performance center; it doesn’t have concessions set up. We have modern concessions now at College Park Center and we can just accommodate more offerings.”
Concession stands at College Park Center have previously sold beer for entertainment events; the change now is serving cold brews at college events.
“Our new 7,000 seat area has had full concession stands since it opened February 1,” Sullivan said. “ We’ve had concerts in there where alcoholic beverages, really beer is what we’re talking about, have been sold.”
UTA teams are currently playing in the WAC (Western Athletic Conference), but will move to the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.
“Those schools have larger athletic followings and more diverse audiences for their games and beer sales are more common at their venues,” Sullivan said. “We believe that what we’re doing is in line with game day atmosphere at many of our competitors.”
As far as other North Texas colleges and universities, Texas Christian University (TCU) officials said they will offer alcohol on the club and suite level in their new stadium. Southern Methodist University (SMU) does not sell alcohol at its concession stands.
As with the purchase of any alcoholic beverage identification is required to buy and UTA says they will ‘card’ anyone who appears to be 40 years old or younger. But there are a number of differences that will also be in effect.
“Customers may purchase two beers per visit to the concession stand, then no more,” Sullivan explained. “Generally we’re gonna stop selling beer at the midway point of a volleyball match and at the beginning of the second half of basketball games.”
UTAs first athletic event is this Friday — a match with the UT Arlington Mavericks Women’s Volleyball Team.
On average, domestic brand beer will sell for $6 a cup at College Park Center and premium brands will cost $7 a cup.