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February 27, 2014

Beer sales approved at spring athletic events

After a review by the Texas chancellor's office, Texas on Thursday announced beer and wine sales at spring sports events, beginning Friday at McCombs Field when UT softball hosts the Texas Invitational.

"This trial will be in effect this spring for all remaining men's and women's basketball, softball and baseball games, and the fan fest area at the Texas Relays," said UT Men's Athletics Director Steve Patterson. "We could look into expanding it for other sports events next fall provided the outcome of the trial is positive."

At the conclusion of the 2014 spring sports seasons, UT Athletics, UT Police, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and UT Athletics concessionaire Sodexho Sports and Leisure will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the trial to determine if alcohol should be sold at other sporting events.

The evaluation will include information from UTPD and the TABC to ensure there has been no adverse community impact.

The beer and wine trial will not include the spring football game on April 19 at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

UT athletics had sent internal memos outlining its desire to begin selling beer and wine as part of a "soft launch" at the Texas women's basketball game against TCU on Tuesday, a source told Orangebloods.com earlier in the week.

But Texas chancellor Francisco Cigarroa wanted more details about what he considers a "pilot program" involving beer and wine sales, a source close told OB on Wednesday.

Cigarroa wanted to know what criteria needed to be met for the sales to be considered a success; if more security at athletic events would be needed; and how the sales at each event would be handled, the source said.

Orangebloods.com reported Tuesday that Texas athletics had planned to launch beer sales beginning this week that would include men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, the Texas Relays March 26-29 and possibly the Texas spring football game April 19.

If all went well this spring, the sales would extend to Texas football games in the fall, OB reported.

Orangebloods was told Wednesday evening Cigarroa wasn't necessarily opposed to the idea of beer and wine sales at athletic events, he just wanted more information.

So the athletic director's office spent Wednesday afternoon compiling those details and sending them over to the chancellor's office, a source told OB.

Cigarroa, a transplant surgeon, was traveling in South Texas on Wednesday, so beer and wine sales will be put on hold until the chancellor has a chance to review the information, the source said.


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