So much for “cheers”ing on the Alabama Crimson Tide.
After much debate and backlash, the Alabama Crimson Tide finally made plans to sell alcohol in stadiums during sporting events. It came after approval by the SEC and agreements with the university and city.
Shortly before the plan was going to be implemented, those in charge of the Alabama Crimson Tide decided to back out. Greg Byrne posted a tweet explaining the decision and his reasoning.
The city of Tuscaloosa planned to implement a tax on tickets due to the selling of alcohol. UA took offense to it. In Byrne’s statement, he detailed the taxes that the Alabama Crimson Tide already bring to the city of Tuscaloosa. They pay sales tax on tickets and concessions. This would be an extra tax, and Byrne said that the plan to sell alcohol is off the table until they settle this.
Now, alcohol taxes are common. Selling alcohol adds risk for companies and for the city, and the taxes balance that. However, the interesting thing is that they would tax ticket sales. Every ticket would cost slightly more, regardless of if the buyer planned to consume alcohol. Still, the economic benefit of selling alcohol would almost certainly counterbalance the loss by paying this tax.
In my opinion, this is political posturing by both sides. The Alabama Crimson Tide and the city of Tuscaloosa have a symbiotic relationship. They work together to make a lot of special things happen, but they still have different interests at times. This is a new revenue stream, and everyone wants to get their hands on the money coming out.
I still believe that alcohol will eventually be sold in Coleman Coliseum and other venues. However, the two parties might have to debate on what taxes that will include. As long as everyone makes money, there is probably some middle ground.