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University Lost Money Selling Beer To College Kids

Minnesota Beer Sales
Hannah Foslien, Getty Images

The Big 10 athletic conference is filled with schools like Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State — massive public universities with excellent reputations both on and off the football field. Then there’s Minnesota, a BIG 10 school that hasn’t won a conference title in football since 1967 and somehow lost money while selling beer to college students at TCF Bank Stadium in 2012.

Yes, that’s right: despite what seems to be the collegiate equivalent of shooting willing Gopher fish in a gridiron barrel, Minnesota lost $16,000 on beer and wine sales in 2012 — even though it sold nearly $1 million worth of product.

“I think it was a surprise that we lost money,” said David Benedict, the school’s executive associate athletic director. “We were not happy when we realized the fact that we had not shown a net profit.”

We’ll bet it made you unhappy. …In an effort to save face, Minnesota has proposed a new deal to Aramark, its concessionaire at TCF Bank Stadium, which would increase the percentage of wine and beer sales coming back to the school. The university apparently didn’t press the concessionaire in negotiations and settled for a lower percentage, resulting in the loss.

For what it’s worth, the Gophers did go to a bowl game in 2012, so maybe this whole thing is turning the corner. Still, you have to figure that the university’s Carlson School of Management took this loss as hard as the athletic department.

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