And the beat goes on: Expanded beer sales in Martin, expected to start with season opener, still a no-go for WSU-Oregon

IN CASE YOU'RE keeping score when Sunday morning rolls around, we're approaching $500,000 in lost net revenue for Washington State. Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell CF.C that while signed final paperwork was expected to be in hand at Washington State more than six weeks ago, the process has still not yet been completed and expanded beer sales won’t take place Saturday for WSU's Pac-12 opener vs. Oregon.

For a school in need of balancing its athletic budget and implementing new revenue streams, the delay is seriously costing Washington State.  Expanded sales were expected to generate net revenue of $1 million this football season over the course of seven home games. Washington State's best case scenario now is to be able to offer only four home games’ worth of expanded beer sales.

The delay will have cost WSU roughly $429,000 in net revenue as of Sunday.  That is one serious chunk of change.

Back in mid-August, multiple independent sources with knowledge of the issue told CF.C the deal was virtually done between all parties, with only formal paperwork to be signed.  "We expect to have some news regarding that this week but nothing is official as of yet," WSU SID Bill Stevens said Aug. 16 when CF.C asked for comment. Sources on Wednesday remained tight-lipped as to the specifics of the delay -- continuing to call it standard bureaucracy.

But a Spokesman-Review article last Friday quoted Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board spokesperson Mikhail Carpenter as saying there’s no telling when, or if, they will grant WSU approval.

“The board has additional questions,” Mikhail Carpenter told the S-R, adding that board members are employing extra scrutiny. “There’s really no timeline on it. This would be precedent-setting. No other university in the state has expanded alcohol sales so any decision would resonate across the state.”

WSU has long been training 200-plus staff members on all new policies that will be involved in serving beer on the concourse of Martin Stadium. But those new policies – including the new no re-entry policy at Martin Stadium – will continue to be put on hold for Saturday and the Pac-12 opener, the sources tell CF.C.

Washington State has served beer, wine and spirits in the suites, loge boxes, and outdoor and indoor club seats since 2012 -- and that will continue to be the case in those premium seating areas, both on Saturday and when  expanded beer sales are implemented (assuming they are).

If/when expanded sales are up and running at Washington State home football games, sources tell, WSU will offer both draft and package beer, and both domestic and craft options, in the concourse areas.

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