For the first time in its nearly 100-year history, the University of Texas at El Paso on Saturday sold beer at a home sporting event, and the sales totaled $28,505, officials said Monday.
The decision to sell alcohol at this year's Homecoming game between the Miners and Tulane Green Wave was made last Tuesday. University officials held an impromptu news conference to announce that 24 ounce beers will be sold to fans for $8.50. Those actually cost $9.
Officials said they hoped beer sales would boost attendance, but only 23,000 people were in attendance (the Sun Bowl holds 51,000).
UTEP normally sells beer at non-NCAA special events at the Sun Bowl and the Don Haskins Center. But that wasn't the case in June, when the chancellor of the University of Texas System forbade alcohol sales at the middleweight championship boxing match between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Andy Lee in the Sun Bowl.
Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa cited security reasons for the ban on beer.
On Tuesday, UTEP assistant Vice President Richard Adauto said the university simply informed the UT System their plan was to sell beer this weekend and no one told them they couldn't.
At least five other UT or Conference USA schools in Texas, including UTSA, UT-Arlington, Houston and Rice currently sell beer at athletic events.
Beer will also be sold at basketball games at the Don Haskins Center when the season tips off next month. Officials will evaluate the alcohol sales on a game-by-game basis to determine of they will continue.
The Miners won, 24-20.