Alcohol sales, and potentially a naming rights deal, could be on the table for Memorial Stadium as Cal athletics sorts through its current budget situation.
Cal’s athletic department is looking at its options for solving some of its ongoing financial issues. Those strategies are not limited to football facilities, but Memorial Stadium does factor into a few ideas. One is the sale of naming rights, while another proposal could lead to the implementation of alcohol sales.
The proposal that is reportedly under consideration would allow for alcohol sales at Cal football and basketball games. The department has emphasized that a final decision has not been made, but that it is exploring its options. More from SF Gate:
“While no decision has been made regarding selling beer at Cal Athletics events, we have begun exploring the possibility of doing so in expanded areas,” the department said in a statement. “Before any plans are set, we will work closely with campus leadership to put systems in place that ensure sales are handled appropriately and responsibly, putting fan safety and the gameday experience as a priority.”
The statement added that beer has regularly been sold at other venues on campus, including for concerts at the Greek Theatre. In 2014, a sold-out soccer match between Real Madrid and Inter Milan at Memorial Stadium “featured beer sales with minimal alcohol-related issues.”
The Daily Californian first reported the budget plans.
Cal athletics is saddled with more than $400 million in long-term debt stemming from renovations to Memorial Stadium. A task force commissioned to generate methods for revamping the department made eight recommendations in June, but failed to agree on the hot-button issue of cutting entire sports programs.
If implemented, the sale of alcohol at football and basketball games could generate somewhere in the range of $150,000 to $300,000 in annual revenue, according to projections.
Image courtesy Cal Bears.