It was likely that no one ever thought having booze at University of Alabama athletic facilities would affect the cost and quality of the food served.
An article “The price for a night out at Coleman Coliseum keeps adding up” by Nick Robbins in the campus newspaper The Crimson White deals with the high prices and poor quality of the food at athletic venues.
Robbins wrote that fans “can’t help but be disappointed with the quality and cost of the food and drinks at the eight vendors offered. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum and other UA sporting venues have made massive changes to their food and drink options over the past couple of years — changes fans are not happy with.”
When Herbert Tesh, the representative for Levy Premium Foodservice, approached the City Council in February, 2022, most of the discussion about alcohol sales centered on legal liabilities.
Robbins reported that;
The catalyst for these changes was the University’s partnership with food and concessions company Levy, which was announced in 2018. Before the company took over, concession prices had actually been lowered by $1-2 per item. But now a 16-ounce domestic beer costs $8.99 while a 20-ounce premium beer costs $9.99. The cost of beer reflects the prices in Bryant-Denny, but the rollout of alcohol sales has not been smooth, with some fans reporting being charged the premium price for a domestic beer.
Some of the other prices that Robbins listed were:
$14.49 for chicken tenders and fries
A German pretzel: $13.99
$7.49 for Dippin’ Dots
Robbins wrote that the University’s food and beverage prices don’t compare favorably to those of other venues at both colleges and professional events.
Al.com‘s Ben Flanagan wrote a column about the $16 cheeseburger sold at Coleman Coliseum:
So why charge a fan $16 for a cheeseburger? Or $14 for a pretzel ($20 with the side of cheese and tax)? Or $10 for a soda? What about fans buying tickets to individual games and then paying these exorbitant concession prices to create a memory for themselves and their families who love the Tide? Or what about students paying for tuition and the $4 side of beer cheese as they pack their section to the top of Coleman and attempt create one of the best home atmospheres in the SEC?
A University of Alabama athletics department statement this week said the venue’s concessionaire Levy Restaurants sets concession pricing based off concession offerings, product/overhead costs and market pricing. “Despite inflation’s impact on sports and entertainment venues across the country, a concerted effort is made to avoid annual price increases on concessions,” they said.
Since students are prohibited from alcohol purchases the excessive prices that they pay for beverages and sub-standard food must subsidize the sale of booze for other fans.
University of Alabama President Dr. Stuart Bell, has stated the sale of alcohol at University Athletic facilities is “a net positive for the school.” Many students must think otherwise in T-Town.