LSU's athletics department wants to rake in even more money from the public, with plans to place a food court and sports bar beneath Tiger Stadium's south end zone seats.
The beer emporium would replace men's dorms that have nearly all been removed, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Before the venture can move forward, the SEC must approve general beer sales at conference stadiums. High rollers in the stadium's luxury boxes already can enjoy alcohol during games.
Athletics director Joe Alleva told a crowd at a coaches' tour stop in Baton Rouge, "it will be kind of a sports bar situation. Big screen TVs. It will be a restricted area where you have to stay in there. You won't be able to leave."
Sounds ominous, like a Twilight Zone episode. What Alleva probably means is that fans who enter the sports bar can watch LSU games there, even if they don't have tickets to enter the open-air stadium. Fans who leave won't be allowed to re-enter.
A major question is how the sports bar would fit in with the school's popular and colorful tailgating. Will fans go to the sports bar after tailgating, or find the sports bar a more pleasant alternative? The beer spot could also mean fewer people sitting in the stadium seats, taking away from the Tigers' vaunted home-field advantage.
Meanwhile, as the athletics department generates millions, the state Legislature keeps slashing the school's academic funding. The athletics department is unlikely to share beer revenues with academic programs.
The removal of the dorms ends a colorful part of LSU's history dating back to Gov. Huey Long's administration. Long added the dorms to gain support for an early stadium expansion. Many generations of LSU students lived in those spartan quarters.
Huey in his wildest dreams couldn't imagine a stadium beer garden, or the luxury boxes now soaring into the sky.