Illinois hopes beer sales at football games will boost ticket sales

A Division of Intercollegiate Athletics compilation shows that Memorial Stadium was only about 56% full on average last year. That’s the worst in the Big Ten.

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The University of Illinois hopes allowing beer sales at Memorial Stadium will improve ticket sales for football games.

Stephen Haas/AP

CHAMPAIGN — University of Illinois officials hope the start of beer sales in Memorial Stadium’s general seating areas boosts slumping ticket sales for home football games.

The Illini announced in April that beer sales would be allowed for the first time this fall in the stadium’s general seating areas for home football and basketball games.

Jason Heggemeyer is associate athletic director for ticketing and sales. He tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette school officials are hoping the beer sales can reverse a two-year decline in attendance at home football games.

A Division of Intercollegiate Athletics compilation shows that Memorial Stadium was only about 56% full on average last year. That’s the worst in the Big Ten.

The expanded beer sales could also help keep football fans from leaving the stadium at halftime to tailgate.

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