Luxury seats at brand-new multimillion dollar college football stadiums aren’t selling out! (Via Inside Higher Ed.) But that’s not the only misplaced priority among the Gopher faithful–here’s an interesting tidbit about the University of Minnesota’s new boondoggle:
The poor economy, however, may not be the only reason for the slow sales of premium seats at Minnesota’s new stadium. One culprit, another athletic official suggests, may be the lack of alcohol at the stadium.
“We had a plan in place to sell alcohol in these premium areas but not in the general areas,” said Garry Bowman, a spokesman for Minnesota athletics. “However, the governor said we either had to sell it everywhere or not sell it at all. So, our regents decided not to sell alcohol, given that 20 percent of our crowds are students, most of which are underage. Still, this reversal did have an effect. Some people who were on the fence about getting a suite considered this a tipping point and decided, ‘Maybe we don’t need that suite after all.’ You can’t look at the selling numbers and say it was all the economy.”
Two season ticket buyers who had signed contracts pulled out because of the change in alcohol policy, Crumb said, adding that a third buyer who was close to signing a contract also cited the policy change for not closing the deal.
Awesome! The rich folk just can’t get drunk enough in their comfy seats. Super, super, super-duper classy with a cherry and an orange slice skewered by a tiny plastic sword on top! Because I’m sure that priorities like $40,500 luxury suites have nothing whatsoever to do with the cuts in instructional budgets, layoffs, furloughs, cuts to library budgets, and crumbling classrooms plaguing most public instistutions of higher education these days. Yes, that’s right: I wrote, “institutions of higher education,” not “free farm clubs for the NFL.”
Do you think we could get donors to support the actual instruction of students if the College of Liberal Arts at Baa Ram U. featured not just “smart classrooms,” but “drunk classrooms,” with wet bars? Is that all it would take to get some support around here? Hell, I’ll even mix the drinks for them, if that’s all the idle, sodden rich are looking for. Each faculty member could have a special cocktail they mix up that relates to their subject matter: colonial American historians might specialize in rum punch; Caribbean and Latin Americanists might work in Mojitos or Pisco Sours; Eastern European historians and Russianists would of course feature vodka drinks and slivovitz; French and Italian historians would pour wine, natch, and British historians could offer a wide range of pub tipples, from ales and stouts to scotch.
Leave your recipes for sure-fire wallet-openers in the comments below.