There was an interesting tweet that came today from Jack Mitchell of KLIN radio about Pinnacle Bank Arena, the home of Nebraska Cornhuskers Men's & Women's Basketball.
.@ChrisBeutler just told us consultants for arena ops will "look at the question of alcohol" at BB games/events UNL has previously eschewed.— Jack Mitchell (@JackM_KLINRadio) July 21, 2015
Now, this comes on the report that PBA is in the hole again about $250,000 even with an injunction of cash from the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency, the agency in charge of the Arena.
The problem still becomes that, even though PBA is getting good acts in line WWE, Kenny Chesney and such, the main tenants, being the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, has a pretty sweet deal for rent in the Arena.
I've talked in length about how alcohol could help the problem at PBA, and if the City is willing to do all the work for such and, if the City of Lincoln wants to front for it, it would be as beneficial as anything to making folks happy about PBA, even if the AD is going to get 1/2 the profit from it.
That all being said, Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst was, as recent as August of 2014, still adamantly against the idea:
Since the arena is off-campus, the topic of beer sales has come up since PBA started to go up. Eichorst quickly said "no" when asked if alcohol sales are being considered now or in the future.
"I don’t think that has any role in college athletics, particularly at a place like Nebraska," he said. "It’s to preserve the wholesomeness and the experience for our kids. That’s probably priceless right now."
Some schools scraping for money to stay in the black, Eichorst said, may be forced into chasing alcohol revenue.
"For me, the bottom line does matter," he said. "But at what point does it outweigh what you’re trying to do? Trying to keep the civility ... you’ve got to be careful. Most folks I’ve talked to, they appreciate that."
I get the point that Eichorst is trying to portray; there has to be a level of decorum in that you expect folks to have when drinking inside PBA. That being said, if folks are coming in already impaired and such, are you really controlling the battle as much as you can?
To match that, the University of Minnesota is ready to ask the State to allow beer & wine sales at TCF Bank Stadium after a 2 year test run found that 1) they made money and 2) there wasn't a big influx of issues. Matter of factly, alcohol-related incidents DROPPED in the 2 years TCF has sold alcohol. The University of Texas, who doesn't need the money, will start selling this fall inside DKR Memorial Stadium. UNL wouldn't be the first Nebraska public school to do off-sale inside their arena, as UNO will serve alcohol inside their new shiny Baxter Arena this winter, on campus.
I do expect the City to ask UNL for a concession, and the folks that love to whittle TOM OSBORNE WOULD HAVE NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN will speak up. However, if the City gets its way, there will be something sooner than later at PBA when the teams of Tim Miles and Connie Yori take the court.