University of Missouri

Will beer be sold at Mizzou games this year? New SEC rule makes it possible

Beer and wine may soon be sold during Missouri Tigers games at Memorial Stadium and Mizzou Arena.

On Friday, the Southeastern Conference made it a possibility, revising its longstanding policy of prohibiting alcohol sales at its sporting events.

The rule was revised at the SEC meetings in Destin, Florida by a committee that included Mizzou senior deputy athletics director Sarah Reesman. Each school can now decide whether to allow for alcohol sales.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk and chancellor Alexander Cartwright issued a joint statement on Friday that said the university and Intercollegiate Athletics Committee will discuss potential alcohol sales at athletics events. The Tigers athletic department operated slightly in the red during the last fiscal year and alcohol sales could help MU come closer to breaking even.

“We appreciate the Southeastern Conference developing a policy that provides us the authority to determine what is best for the University of Missouri regarding the sale of alcohol in public areas within our athletic venues,” the statement said. “Our guiding principle in any decision will be maintaining the safety of our fans, student-athletes and staff while creating an atmosphere that reflects our institutional values.”

The rule change goes into effect on Aug. 1. The SEC was the only Power Five conference that banned alcohol sales in general seating areas. The policy limits the sales to strictly beer and wine in designated areas and puts a limit on the number of drinks an individual can purchase with designated stop times at certain points in games.

“Our policy governing alcohol sales has been a source of considerable discussion and respectful debate among our member universities in recent years,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “As a Conference, we have been observant of trends in the sale and consumption of alcohol at collegiate sporting events and have drawn upon the experiences and insights of our member schools which have responsibly established limited alcohol sales within controlled spaces and premium seating areas. We remain the only conference to set forth league-wide standards for the responsible management of the sale of alcoholic beverages.”

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.