COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri athletics has approved beer and wine sales at Faurot Field concession stands for all 2019 home football games.
School officials announced the decision Friday afternoon, calling it a partnership with its concessionaire, Levy Restaurants, in accordance with the Southeastern Conference’s newly adopted alcohol-related policies.
“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,” MU athletic director Jim Sterk said in a news release. “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.”
Alcoholic beverages not provided by Faurot Field concession stands are not allowed in the venue, the school stated.
“As part of this move, fans can also expect an increase in game-day messaging and education with regard to responsible consumption and sober driving, as part of our partnership with the campus Wellness Center,” Sterk said.
Alcohol sales at football games will conclude at the end of the third quarter. Fans over 21 with a valid ID will only be able to purchase two drinks per transaction at select concession stands selling beer and wine. All drinks will be poured into a provided container when sold.
Concession stands nearest student seating areas will not sell beer or wine, according to the university. Less than half of the concession stands in the stadium will serve alcohol.
In addition, no vendors will enter the general seating areas for beer or wine sales.
“The University of Missouri’s police department has worked closely with Mizzou athletics on this issue,” Schwandt said in the release. “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.”
Nationally, more than half of all Power Five programs sell beer and wine at their football games, and of FBS-level institutions, approximately 65 are slated to sell alcoholic beverages this fall.
In 2016, the NCAA began selling beer and wine at the NCAA World Series for baseball and softball, and in 2019, it added the Division I men’s and women’s basketball championships, as well as other events. The College Football Playoff games also have alcohol for sale.
Missouri athletics also stated it will monitor alcohol sales at Faurot Field and will announce plans for sales in other venues, such as Mizzou Arena and Taylor Stadium, after analyzing feedback received from its stakeholders.
An alcohol-free zone will be established inside the football stadium, and anyone can request seats inside that designated area.
Missouri plans to provide a sober driving program through which attendees can check in at guest services stands located throughout the stadium. A free fountain drink and other giveaways will be available for guests who sign in and register to serve as a sober driver for any game day, the release stated.
Sales generated from alcohol purchases will go toward food and beverage enhancements at Faurot Field. That money will also be used to improve response times and communication between Missouri athletics and first responders, as well as general security improvements. Another portion of proceeds will benefit on-campus alcohol training, the release stated.
“I do think, you look at the opportunity wherever that is, if that goes in play in the different venues across the country, No. 1, you want responsibility and all the things that go along with that, and I know that Mizzou will make a well-informed decision when the time comes,” Missouri head football coach Barry Odom said Friday morning.
The Tigers play seven home games in 2019, starting with an 11 a.m. kickoff against West Virginia on Sept. 7 and concluding with a conference matchup against Tennessee on Nov. 23.