Although planning for the implementation of alcohol sales at Neyland Stadium continues, University of Tennessee officials are unsure of when they will take effect.
Tennessee has been plotting the introduction of alcohol sales at athletic events, including football games at Neyland Stadium. The football program plays its home opener on August 31, but the debut of alcohol sales could come later.
Concessionaire Aramark is still working through the necessary approval process, while certain logistics–such as which stands will serve beer, and how security and compliance measures will be implemented–still have to be finalized. Given the number of moving pieces involved, it remains uncertain when Neyland Stadium alcohol sales would begin. Still, it is possible that alcohol could be offered at some point during the 2019 football season, even if it is not available at the August 31 home opener. More from the Knoxville News Sentinel:
“You don’t want to do it wrong,” [Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Chris] Cimino said. “You don’t want your fans to be disappointed with how you’re rolling it out. But you also need to make sure you’re doing it in a safe manner as well.”
[Vice chancellor for student life Vince] Carilli said an important part of rolling out alcohol sales is educating the public, including students, who will start the fall semester 10 days before the first football game.
“I don’t know that we’re going to get the chance to do that (education in the 10 days) between when the semester starts and the first football game,” he said.
Beginning alcohol sales does not have to be tied to the beginning of a season, Cimino said. Whenever the university is ready — even if it’s multiple games into the football schedule — they will roll it out.
As a member of the conference, Tennessee is one of the schools affected by the SEC’s new alcohol sales policy. This spring, the SEC opted to lift its previous policy limiting alcohol sales to private areas such as premium seating, effectively allowing conference members to decide individually whether to implement them on a facility-wide basis.
Image courtesy Tennessee Football.