Michigan AD Dave Brandon Says the Big House Will Not Sell Alcohol

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon, left, gives a hug to defensive end Craig Roh (88) as they celebrate after an NCAA college football game against Michigan State, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan won 12-10. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Tony Ding/Associated Press

Sorry, Michigan fans.

According to Kellie Woodhouse of MLive.com, athletic director Dave Brandon confirmed on Monday that alcohol will not be sold in any section of The Big House:

Alcohol isn't sold anywhere in America's largest football venue, not even to donors who pay up to $85,000 a season for a luxury box.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says that's not going to change, despite a number of other big-name college stadiums that have begun, or are seriously considering, selling beer during games.

The other programs Woodhouse alludes to include Texas, which was eyeing a soft release of alcohol at sporting events this winter and spring before rolling it out, potentially, at football games in the fall.

Given the comparative size of their respective programs, some thought hoped Michigan might be willing to follow suit—especially after alcohol was sold at the 2014 NHL Winter Classic game at the stadium.

So why won't it be done? It's actually pretty simple. Even though beer sales would technically be allowed, doing so would be a chore in terms of logistics and liability. Said Brandon:

You've got to set up places to vendor this stuff and you've got to make sure you're selling it to the right people, not the wrong people, and then you've got to deal with all the ramifications of alcohol being served in an area where you've got a lot of young people and a lot of underage people.

Sometimes people lose track of the fact that we have to organize and manage 110,000 to 115,000 people all in one tight space, and get them in there and out of there safely. I don't think serving alcohol is going to make that job any easier.

The benefit counteracting that liability is obvious: Selling alcohol might stand to make the school more money. Spectators are not just more likely to spend money upon entering the stadium—they're more likely to by a ticket in the first place.

The Wolverines have not been plagued by the same massive attendance problem as the rest of college football. They continue to sport one of the biggest crowds in America and are also, as a program, not quite wanting for money.

Still, even the richest program could always use more cash, and Michigan is no different. Brandon knows this well, so if he is not willing to start selling alcohol in spite of it, he clearly has strong feelings about the liability concerns.

So tailgate hard, Michigan fans. This isn't changing any time soon.