Beer sales at Wilco show were high, but could have been much higher

Instead of handing out wristbands to note your eligibility to drink beer, the DECC workers should have stamped “chump” on the forehead of each fan who painstakingly waited in line for a cold one before Wilco’s concert last weekend in Duluth.

Besides the sticker shock of $6.75 per large beer, that sucker feeling was inevitable as a long — seemingly immovable — line lead fans to only three servers.

That’s one server for each 733 fans at the show!

Moreover, the wait was not worth a generic domestic!

Before Wilco’s set, this fan stood in line for about two minutes only to move his feet once or twice. Once this sad sap realized his futility, he headed into the venue and overheard a few rumblings from disgruntled and obviously thirsty fans.

“That line is ridiculous!” one guy said to his gal.

“What are they thinking? I guess the DECC doesn’t want to make money!” another dude said.

But the DECC did make money. (During the middle of Wilco’s set, this fan relented and ordered two cold ones, and waited in a much shorter line.)

Dan Russell, executive director of the DECC, said the amount of beer sold — $15,000 worth — was more than double any other auditorium show in his 20 years.

“I saw how hard they were working, but we didn’t anticipate it,” Russell said. “It was a Friday night, and Wilco fans seem thirsty. … We just got slammed.”

Another complication was the beer line blocked the entrance to the auditorium. The set up left a 20-yard-long beer line and a less than 5-foot sliver for fans to navigate from the lobby to the concert.

“It was more people in the beer line than we expected,” Russell said. “There was really no other place that we could put that with the sports show going on.”

The DECC made some money on beer, but what could the return have been if people could have easy access to a brewed beverage?

10 thoughts on “Beer sales at Wilco show were high, but could have been much higher

  1. a bunch of people actually went back to the curling club and get a much better selection of beer and cheaper too before the show. every show at the auditorium i have been at, the beer line sucks.

  2. I am an alcoholic and cannot drink beer, b/c I am one mean drunk. But then, I can’t even afford to attend a show at the DECC, as I can’t hold down a job. So it’s a totally moot point for me.

  3. Let me guess…..Is the DECC run by a private org or a the city……3 people in a beer stand for a concert…..Must be city run!

    I’m so thankful we have a bigger better DECC coming just like a bigger airport terminal where they currently use 1 out of 4 gates. City, State and Federal Govt are going broke but lets keep spending!

  4. Good ‘ol Duluth. They put on a show to sell beer and then they don’t sell the beer. Has no one ever been to a Wilco show? If you don’t leave covered in beer and vomit you didn’t go to the show.

  5. The beer line was nuts. It reminded me of waiting in line for a porta-pottie at Grandma’s Marathon. I think the DECC should have had a little more foresight considering it was a sold out show and they knew that several days in advance. Who is the target audience for Wilco? Well there were a lot of thirty-somethings who had babysitters and were looking forward to cutting loose for a night on the town. They like beer too. Let’s just hope that the DECC folks learned a lesson here and maybe they would have a contingency plan in place for this type of situation – some bartenders and security on “standby”?

  6. Remember, this is the same DECC that hosts UMD women’s hockey, even though women’s hockey could be played at MARS Lakeview for the amount of people that show up.

    BEST Captcha EVER by the way: “Correspondent sourpuss”

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