Schools Continue To Take Differing Approaches To General Alcohol Sales
Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart said he was not surprised the fan reaction to the announcement that there will be no public alcohol sales at sporting events this year, noting there are "strong feelings on both sides" of the issue," according to a Q&A with Kyle Tucker of THE ATHLETIC. He said, "People don’t know that there was great thought put into it from a lot of different places. ... It’s a university decision that we made at this point in time." Barnhart elaborated on the decision: "You’re trying to do what you think is best for your program at that time. There’s a contained space right now where alcohol is being served (in the suites/premium seats) and it’s for a small number of folks and it’s not in the masses and it’s not close to our field of play. That may work some places, but at this point in time, that’s not an area that we want to go" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/12).
EXPANDED SALES: TCU last week announced it would begin selling beer at Amon G. Carter Stadium this upcoming football season, and in Ft. Worth, Drew Davison noted the new alcohol policy is "not expected to be a huge money maker for the athletic department." TCU AD Jeremiah Donati said money was "not a factor" in the decision. Donati: "We anticipate the net revenue we do earn from this to be insignificant and negligible in the big picture." Meanwhile, Davison noted the "No. 1 complaint" with the new policy has "centered on TCU eliminating its popular in-and-out policy" regarding re-entering the stadium. Donati said that "no stadium in the country that sells beer has an in-and-out policy, and it's for safety and liability reasons" (Ft. Worth STAR-TELEGRAM, 8/9).
PROCEED WITH CAUTION: The Univ. at Buffalo plans to expand beer sales at football games this season, and a BUFFALO NEWS editorial stated that it is an "experiment worth trying, so long as it does not spoil the atmosphere at UB Stadium." Anyone bringing children to the stadium "does not want to experience the worst aspect" of Bills games: "Drunken adults behaving badly." If the atmosphere at UB games "becomes more fan-friendly without detracting from family fun, the beer experiment will be a success" (BUFFALO NEWS, 8/9).