You could call it a taste test. The University of Texas Friday started offering beer and wine at some of its sporting events. They are trying to determine if the idea should be tried later at its largest and most popular venue.
As college pitchers served up a few fast balls at the McCombs softball complex, fans who were attending the longhorn tournament Friday got a curve ball of their own at the concession stand. Beer and wine is now available. Eloy Estrada was at the stadium to watch his daughter who is on the southern miss team that's playing in the tournament. Estrada was so surprised about the availability of alcohol, he texted a picture to friends in Louisiana.
"I think it's a good idea, I think it will be a success as long as we, the people who attend the games take care of themselves, and act right," said Estrada.
The tournament is the first day for this taste-testing experiment by the university. At $8 each these stiff drinks don't come cheap but sales could add fans say they recognize the squeeze play.
"I think it's about money, it's really about money, I don't think it takes away from the game, because the game is on the field ... and what happens in the stands happens in the stands," said Milan.
The softball stadium is not the only place serving alcohol this spring. You could get pickled at baseball games. Dribble a drink at basketball games. And make a beer and wine dash to the fan-fest area at the Texas Relays. But fans like Monita Castillo don't know if the money is worth the possible trouble alcohol could bring.
I'd say no, no just because it could be putting people's lives at risk, at stake, "said Castillo.
There is one big venue where alcohol will not be sold during this test process, DKR. No alcohol is going to be sold during the spring football game April 19th.
Angela Tidwell- with mothers against drunk driving- says the organization doesn't have a formal position on UT alcohol sales - but caution is urged.
"Ultimately it's the University of Texas' choice we just want them to put measures in place to not serve anybody under 21 and make sure people get home safe make sure people are not being over-served that way they are not drinking and driving," said Tidwell.
University officials say later this summer they will evaluate this idea with local and state authorities. Baring a major hang-over alcohol sales could be expanded to other sporting events by next fall. With 100,000 potential customers at DKR the pay day could be substantial.
The University of Texas already ranks as one of the top revenue generating programs in the nation. It's estimated about 29 other programs allow alcohol sales. Officials at West Virginia have claimed they expected to score a million-dollar profit by allowing alcohol sales at their home football games.