$9 beer coming to UTEP football, basketball games starting Saturday

EL PASO, Texas - Beer sales will be introduced at UTEP's Homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct.  20. 

Jorge Vazquez, director of Special Events at UTEP, said a 24 ounce cup of beer will cost $9 at UTEP home football games the rest of the season and for home basketball games.

Alcohol will not be sold beyond the third quarter of football games but alcohol sales could be ended at anytime during the third quarter, Vazquez said.

Vazquez said there are no plans to serve other types of alcohol at the football or basketball games. Fans will only able to buy two beers at a time and there will not be beer vendors in the stands.

Richard Adauto, Executive Vice President Legal Affairs and Oversight at UTEP, said adding football and basketball games to the list of UTEP events at which beer is sold has been under consideration for the past several years in response to expressions of interest from fans and supporters of UTEP athletics and a review of practices and trends at peer universities in Texas, in Conference USA, and across the nation.

Last summer's community conversation about beer sales at the Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. Andy Lee boxing match in the Sun Bowl further energized these deliberations, UTEP said in a statement. UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarro did not allow alcohol sales at the boxing match at the Sun Bowl.

"We notified the UT System that we were going to try this new experience at the Sun Bowl and they know we are going to do it. They were fine, they're OK," Adauto said.

Alcohol is sold at some athletic events at UT Arlington and UT San Antonio.

"UTEP's extensive experience with beer sales at special events in the Sun Bowl and the Don Haskins Center assures us that we will be able to offer at athletic events the same safe and family-friendly environment that this community has come to expect," said UTEP President Diana Natalicio in a statement. "Introducing beer sales at UTEP's Homecoming Game on October 20 underscores our commitment to this goal."

Over the next several months, UTEP will closely monitor sales and the quality of fan experiences as part of an overall assessment to determine whether beer sales will be continued at UTEP football games and other athletic events in the future.

Alcohol sales could bring in more revenue for the university.

"Obviously there's a revenue perspective that we will study and review as we go," Adauto said. "When we've had monster truck shows at the Sun Bowl we probably have 90,000 over two days. So we have experience in terms of selling beer with large numbers of people."

Adauto also said that increasing ticket sales is another part of the equation.

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