University of Missouri

Hold that drink for now: Mizzou still weighing pros, cons of alcohol sales at games

The SEC announced an end to its ban on alcohol sales at sporting events, allowing schools to make the decision. Missouri continues to weigh the pros and cons before the policy takes effect Aug. 1. The Tigers’ first home football game is Sept. 7 against West Virginia.

Texas A&M has announced it will sell beer at wine at football games. Alabama and Auburn are among those that have said no.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk covered this topic and several others with reporters on Thursday.

“I don’t have a strict timeline,” Sterk said. “If we’re going to do it, how would we do it and where would we serve alcohol. We don’t want to impact negatively the concession lines. We have yet to get the plan altogether.

“I would think we’d need to get it done by July.”

Sterk said that campus police are in favor of selling alcohol in the stadium.

“I think it surprises most folks,” Sterk said. “Rather than have it outside, they rather have it in a controlled environment.”

Under new SEC guidelines, alcohol can be sold in general seating areas with sales limited to beer and wine. It can’t be sold by vendors in the seats. Also, alcohol sales will stop at the end of the third quarter for football games, the second-half 12-minute time out in basketball games and the seventh inning at baseball games.

Why would Missouri consider not selling beer or wine at games?

“I think fans don’t want the experienced impacted in a negative way, some fans,” Sterk said. “They like the SEC model versus the pro model.”

NCAA appeal update

Missouri expects to appear before the NCAA appeals committee in July in its attempt to overturn what the school believed was excessively harsh sanctions in the case of the rogue former tutor.

When the appeal was filed, Sterk called it a “clear abuse of the committee’s discretion based upon exiting NCAA bylaws.”

He remained confident on Thursday.

“I feel really good about what we’ve put in front of them, as well as the need for much of the decision to be overturned,” Sterk said.

The penalties include postseason bans for Missouri football, softball and baseball for the 2019-20 school year. Additional penalties include department probation for three years, vacating victories and a 5% decrease in scholarships for the three sports.

“We hope for a good decision before football is too far along,” Sterk said.

Sterk on SEC move

Sterk was in the SEC or Big 12 in the last round of conference membership musical chairs, but he didn’t need to be to know Missouri made the right move.

“For Mizzou to really make a strong decision and the right decision that places them in the best position for the future, that was absolutely right.

“Now, for the alumni and friends, that’s been a shock the level of support the (other SEC) programs receive. What I’ve tried to to do in the last couple of years is really educate people of where we need to go to consistently be competitive, in number of season ticket holders sales and donors and ticket sales.”

Football ticket sales

Sterk said the Tigers were at 83 percent renewal right for season tickets. At this time a year ago, it was 76 percent. New season tickets go on sale Monday.

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