ODESSA, TX (KWES) - First it was tailgating, now Ector County ISD is allowing the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to sell alcohol at Ratliff Stadium.
There's the proverbial catch, the alcohol will be sold under a tent as a thank you to the top donors to the athletic program at the school.
"Most universities have football programs and they have their own spaces, so they can entertain donors and try to raise funds for their athletic programs," Dr. Sandra Woodley, President, UTPB.
Raising funds is what Dr. Woodley stressed to the Ector County ISD school board, Tuesday night.
"We need scholarships for example to be able to go out and recruit athletes. Most of our athletes are scholars we have the highest GPA of all of the athletes in the Lone Star Conference. We had 40-something athletes who were going to be engineers in the Permian Basin," said Woodley.
The board did their due diligence, getting the approval just as hard as catching a touchdown over the middle.
District 6 council member Ray Beaty, was one of the two members to vote against it bringing up a valid argument, if they tell kids to not have alcohol on school property how can they allow this.
Those were concerns Dr. Woodley made sure she put to rest.
"Strictly for donors. No students will be allowed in the tent at all. It is just a VIP experience in other stadiums would be in the President's Box," said Woodley.
Four home games are on tap for the upcoming season. It will be the first time something like this will happen at the historic stadium.
According to the proposal, UTPB says they will hire an outside company with the appropriate license to sell the beverages at the home games.
Donors who will be at the game will wear wristbands to be able to drink at the stadium and there will be security.
The contract for the VIP tent is for just for the 2018-2019 season right now.