UR gets ABC ap­proval for beer and wine sales

They’ll be of­fered at men’s hoops games this sea­son

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - BY JOHN O’CON­NOR jo­con­nor@times­dis­patch.com (804) 649-6233 @RTDjohno­con­nor

The Uni­ver­sity of Rich­mond on Thurs­day re­ceived ap­proval from the Vir­ginia Al­co­holic Bev­er­age Con­trol Au­thor­ity to be­gin sell­ing beer and wine at men’s bas­ket­ball games at the Robins Cen­ter, ac­cord­ing to a uni­ver­sity spokesman. The Spi­ders open Fri­day night against vis­it­ing Long­wood.

On Oct. 10, the school’s vice pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of ath­let­ics, John Hardt, told The Times-Dis­patch that UR would be­gin sell­ing beer to the gen­eral pub­lic at men’s bas­ket­ball games this sea­son, pend­ing ap­proval. UR since then added wine to the op­tions.

Rich­mond be­came the first of Vir­ginia’s 14 Divi­sion I schools to an­nounce it would sell beer to the gen­eral pub­lic at bas­ket­ball games. A few weeks later, VCU an­nounced it would sell beer at its games.

Sale of beer and wine at in­ter­col­le­giate events has be­come a rapidly grow­ing trend in re­sponse to the re­quests of some fans and as a way to in­crease at­ten­dance. Of­ten, NCAA in­sti­tu­tions have added beer to con­ces­sion op­tions, es­pe­cially at foot­ball sta­di­ums, be­cause it’s a rel­a­tively easy, new rev­enue stream.

“We think it will have a pos­i­tive im­pact on our rev­enue, how­ever our pri­mary mo­ti­va­tion for im­ple­ment­ing beer sales is to en­hance the fan ex­pe­ri­ence,” Hardt said. While sell­ing beer and wine, Hardt said UR is “sen­si­tive to want­ing to main­tain a real pos­i­tive fan and fam­ily at­mos­phere.”

UR has no plans to ex­tend beer sales to women’s bas­ket­ball games at this time, or to Robins Sta­dium, home of Spi­ders foot­ball, Hardt said. Rich­mond al­ready had an ABC li­cense that al­lowed for beer sales at other school func­tions, in­clud­ing per­form­ing arts at Modlin Cen­ter.

JOE MA­HONEY/TIMES-DIS­PATCH

John Hardt, UR’s vice pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of ath­let­ics, said al­co­hol sales are meant to en­hance the fan ex­pe­ri­ence.

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