Regents approve alcohol sales for Husker basketball, new multi-media agreement

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents unanimously approved allowing alcohol sales at Nebraska basketball games.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:10 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 11:21 AM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KOLN) - The University of Nebraska Board of Regents unanimously approved allowing alcohol sales at Nebraska basketball games, the start of the process for potential renovations at Memorial Stadium, and the approval of a new $300 million multi-media rights agreement.

At Friday’s board meeting in Kearney, regents voted on an amendment to the University’s operations agreement with Pinnacle Bank Arena, to allow for alcohol sales at Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball games beginning this season.

One person who came forward during public comment period urged the Regents to turn down approving alcohol sales, citing experiences he had while at the Garth Brooks Concert at Memorial Stadium.

There is no plan currently to allow alcohol sales at Memorial Stadium or Haymarket Park.

Back in February, the Board of Regents updated the University’s policy on alcohol sales at athletic events, allowing for the sale of alcohol at Pinnacle Bank Arena for the Big Ten Wrestling Tournament.

The City of Lincoln will also be involved, as it owns Pinnacle Bank Arena.

With this now approved proposal, 90 percent of revenue from alcohol sales will go to the city, and 10 percent to the University.

Also discussed at the meeting is the start of the examination process of Memorial Stadium renovations.

Previously, Athletic Director Trev Alberts sent out a survey to Husker fans to gauge what changes could and should be made.

The Regents unanimously approved to start the planning process and select a program manager, design team, and construction firm. This approval would be earlier in the process than normal, but the University says it will allow Alberts and other University leaders to have an “expert team at their side from Day 1 of what is expected to be a large, highly complex, rapidly evolving process involving private fundraising, design, and construction.”

Another large item on a busy agenda is the approval of a new multi-media rights agreement with Playfly Sports Properties.

The proposal is a 15-year agreement that would start on Oct. 1 and run through 2038.

The agreement includes:

$273.6 million of guaranteed revenue payments

$7.5 million of signing bonuses

$6.5 million in royalties (estimated)

$6.0 million in capital investments

$5.5 million digital suite (web/app)

$2.25 million for NIL fund

Regent Jim Pillen said he had some concerns but there were two things that made him say yes. He said the ability to be more fully engaged with Nebraskans around the world and the ability to look into this contract 7 years in.

“The University’s agreement with IMG expired June 30, 2021. Over the past year, the complexity of the transition to an in­house model, in addition to the shifting legal, economic, and political environment of collegiate athletics, has prompted Nebraska Athletics to carefully consider returning to an external multimedia rights model,” a document outlining the agreement states.