COLUMIBA, Mo. (KFVS) - Mizzou Athletics is joining in the SEC policy of allowing the sale of alcohol during game days for the 2019 football season.
Mizzou Athletics will be partnering with concessionaire, Levy, to sell beer and wine at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.
“Since the SEC staff established its working group to study this issue in 2018, our staff has been working with campus leadership, including MU Chief of Police Doug Schwandt, and our Wellness Center team, to develop a detailed and thoughtful alcoholic beverage sales plan for Mizzou in the event that the SEC position on this issue were to change,” said Mizzou Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. “Based on the experiences of other institutions, we expect Mizzou football fans will appreciate this new option. We also expect alcoholic beverage sales at Memorial Stadium will help reduce the incidents associated with binge drinking that can occur on game day. We consider that a win-win for our fans.”
Currently, more than half of P5 institutions sell beer and wine at the football games, 65 schools in the FBS in 2019. Schools selling alcoholic beverages in public spaces include LSU, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, TCU, Illinois, Purdue, Rutgers, Kansas, Colorado, Ohio State and West Virginia to name just a few.
The NCAA began selling beer and wine at the NCAA Baseball and Softball College World Series, and also the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship. The College Football Playoff games also have alcohol for sale within the venues that host those contests each year.
The announcement comes after the SEC made a policy change that has been in the books since the early 1970s. Mizzou Athletics’ adoption came with the assistance of the MU Wellness Center and MUPD and presented to the Chancellor’s Staff and Deans’ Council, Staff Council, campus student leaders and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.
Beginning on the Tigers’ Sept. 7 home-opener, fans 21 and older will be able to purchase beer and wine from several locations around Faurot Field. In accordance with SEC policy, the sale of alcoholic beverages at football games will end at the end of the third quarter and fans with a valid ID will only be able to purchase two drinks per transaction at select concession stands. There will be no hawkers in the stadium bowl selling alcohol and all drinks will be poured into a cup when sold.
"The University of Missouri's Police Department has worked closely with Mizzou Athletics on this issue," said MUPD Chief Doug Schwandt. "We share a mutual commitment to maintaining a safe environment for fans, student-athletes and staff. Mizzou has a positive game-day atmosphere that we believe will continue under the new policy."
Mizzou Athletics’ concessions partner, Levy, will have a training program for serving and selling alcoholic beverages that align with both the SEC policy and best practices nationally.
All state and federal laws, as well as University regulations, will be complied with, and Levy will also put its employees through State of Missouri Alcohol Responsibility Training classes to help its staff in the following areas:
- Recognize fake IDs and acceptable forms of identification
- Prevent serving minors
- Be aware of the typical signs of intoxication
- Be prepared to handle disorderly, intoxicated customers
There will also be a designated driving program and the establishment of an alcohol-free zone in the stadium.
The designated driving program will provide free fountain drinks and other giveaways to fans who sign in at guest service booths throughout the stadium to serve as a sober driver for the day.
No alcohol will be sold in the alcohol-free zone and tickets for that area will indicate that no alcohol will be sold in that area.
Stadium personnel and law enforcement will monitor fan behavior, and ejection without refund, arrest, or refusal of sale or consumption of alcohol could result for reasons not limited to:
- Unruly, disruptive or illegal behavior.
- Giving alcoholic beverages to a minor.
- Public intoxication or impairment.
- Abusive or offensive language or gestures.
- Throwing of any objects.
- Failure to follow instructions given by stadium and/or law enforcement personnel.
- Any other conduct deemed inappropriate by stadium personnel or law enforcement.
Fans attending Mizzou Football games are also encouraged to report any violation of the above policy or unruly behavior by notifying stadium or law enforcement personnel, or by texting MIZFAN to 90561 and following the prompts to report the issue.