Homecoming attendance low in spite of beer sales
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
In an attempt to improve the fan experience, UTEP introduced the sale of beer on Oct. 20 for the Miners’ Homecoming game against Tulane. However, the attendance to the game was lower than the three previous home games.
“I think it had a little impact, but the point wasn’t really to increase attendance, but to improve the fan experience,” UTEP Executive Vice President Richard Adauto said. “Fans had been requesting the sale of beer for a while now.”
The university announced the decision to sell beer on Oct. 16 and Adauto also said it had been something they had been wanting to do for a while.
It is customary for UTEP to sell alcohol in special events not related to the university, such as the annual Sun Bowl game, monster truck shows and concerts held at both the Sun Bowl stadium and Don Haskins Center.
Prior to the football season, UTEP also announced its new rules for tailgating which allows people to begin the festivities at 8 a.m. outside of campus and at 2 p.m. on-campus with the exception of no inner campus tailgating on Nov. 24.
“I feel that the beer sales didn’t really made a difference, before people would come drunk to the games anyway,” said junior psychology major Jocelyn Carlos. “The price had a lot to do with it, it was just too expensive.”
The beer sold at the game ranged from $7 for 16 ounces and $9 for 24 ounces.
“It might be an advantage, (financially) because people really do like beer and I know they probably made a lot of money out of the beer, because it was $9 for the 24 ounces,” Carlos said. “So if people got five beers that’s already $45 UTEP made.”
With 23,234 in attendance $28,505 was earned in beer sales, according to a story ran by the El Paso Times.
“I don’t think it hurt the attendance,” Adauto said. “We’ve sold beer before at other events. This is the same price we’ve always charged.”
Attendance has dropped since the season opener against Oklahoma where 40,137 fans showed and it dropped to just below 35,000 for the games against NM State and SMU.
For last season’s Homecoming game, attendance totalled 31,797, the Miners were 3-3 entering that game. UTEP entered the game against Tulane with a 1-6 record and nearly 10,000 less fans in attendance.
“The way it might help in the future is that it might help bring more people into the games, but maybe not at that price,” Carlos said.
According to Adauto the university will continue to sell beer for the two remaining home football games on Nov. 10 and 24 and will do so for the basketball season.
“We’re going to evaluate it after the football and basketball seasons are over and we’ll go from there,” Adauto said.
Edwin Delgado contributed to this story.
Daniel Ornelas and Edwin Delgado may be reached at email@example.com.