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Beer sales make sense for Mean Green games

We support the decision by University of North Texas officials to begin selling beer in public sections of Apogee Stadium this fall.

UNT announced Thursday that the school will sell beer on the concourse level. Previously, beer was sold only on Apogee’s restricted-access club and suite levels.

School officials believe the move will help grow athletics revenue and ticket sales.

As UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal pointed out, the university is in a market where most events have beer available for purchase.

“You have to be competitive when people are deciding how to spend their entertainment dollar,” he said. “This will enable us to attract people who want a cold beer when they come to a game.”

Villarreal said beer will be sold only at Mean Green games and not at any high school games played there.

UNT received a liquor license for the entire venue when it opened three years ago, but hadn’t used it for alcohol sales to the general public. Metzler’s Catering in Denton will manage sales at the stadium, and revenues will go to the UNT athletic department.

The school has been considering instituting beer sales at Apogee for the last several months and has studied the issues that go along with selling alcohol.

UNT officials have plans in place for increased security at Apogee and believe that selling beer will ultimately make the environment at games safer. UNT athletic department officials spoke with officials from other universities about their experiences with beer sales at football games in the last few months.

“We wanted to know what they see on gameday,” Villarreal said. “By talking to them and then combining it with the research we did, we feel like we have a good handle on it.”

UNT President Neal Smatresk and other school officials believe drinking in the parking lot is more dangerous for students than inside the stadium, where alcohol sales will be regulated.

We agree. Like it or not, people are going to drink, and we’d rather have them do it in a controlled setting.

Under the plan outlined by UNT, proper screening and regulation will be in place, which should prevent underage drinking and other problems.

Hopefully, this decision will lead to more responsible use of alcohol and we trust that UNT will have the resources available in the stands and near the concessions to take care of any issues that might arise.