It’s going to happen at long last.
The details aren’t totally clear as of yet, but according to the first reporter on this, The Daily Journal’s Parrish Alford, Ole Miss will be announcing alcohol sales at sporting events at football games this season.
I'm hearing #OleMiss will announce later today that it will sell alcohol at athletic events starting with football.— Parrish Alford (@parrishalford) August 30, 2019
Then a short 20 minutes or so later, pretty much the clearest confirmation we’ve seen so far on this from Rebel Grove’s Chase Parham.
#OleMiss will start alcohol sales beginning with the Texas A&M game on Oct. 19. That means the A&M, New Mexico State and LSU games will have it available.— Chase Parham (@RivalsChase) August 30, 2019
UPDATE: Ole Miss officially announces alcohol sales in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
In a joint statement provided by interim chancellor Larry Sparks, interim athletic director Keith Carter, and Ray Hawkins, chief of the University Police Department, Ole Miss has joined other members of the Southeastern Conference in selling booze in their stadium.
“The university has been deliberate in our approach to making this change,” said Ole Miss Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks. “We have assessed the relevant issues and focused on an implementation timetable that works best for our university. Maintaining the safety of our patrons and participants and maintaining an atmosphere suitable for families is of utmost importance. We appreciate the support and patience of our fans as we implement this change.”
”This is another opportunity to enhance what is already one of the premier gamedays in college football,” said interim athletics director Keith Carter. “I want to thank Chancellor Sparks and the rest of our university administration for their leadership and support during this process. We expect this decision to help reduce incidents associated with overconsumption on gamedays. The athletics department will work hand-in-hand with other campus officials and within the guidelines of the SEC to ensure a safe and responsible environment for all fans.”
”We expect in-stadium sales to reduce the temptation for binge drinking during pregame or sneaking in alcoholic beverages,” said Ray Hawkins, chief of the University Police Department. “This sales plan should lead to more responsible consumption and reduce negative behavior in the stands.”
So it won’t happen until the Texas A&M game when the chaps-clad, maroon Jimbos come into Oxford to show off their oil money. BUT IT IS HAPPENING.
Also, a stadium with booze sales with LSU in town is going to have someone in the athletic department pulling a Scrooge McDuck swimming in money move.
The Southeastern Conference voted to drop a prohibitive measure and allow its member institutions to sell booze in the stadiums. Some believe the pressure of declining attendance coupled with the lure of another revenue stream finally broke the long standing tradition of “no alcohol in SEC stadiums.”
Ole Miss Athletics Alcohol Sales Policy:
- All guests must be 21 years of age to purchase alcoholic beverages. A valid ID is required for purchase.
- A limit of two beers may be purchased at one time per legal ID.
- Sales will begin when the venue gates/doors open (two hours prior to kickoff for football).
- Per SEC requirements, sales will end when the game clock has expired at the conclusion of the third quarter.
- A security officer or Centerplate staff member will begin to close the line with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, and only the guests that were already standing in line will be able to purchase beer.
It is unlikely there will be hard liquor sales, but this is just solely my opinion based on what I have ready regarding state regulations of sales. It’s not impossible by any means, and there’s still some hope alive on liquor sales for those of you who just have to have your brown water.
In terms of revenue, there’s the undoubted upside of hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring into the athletic department every home football game where these sales occur. What the financial ramifications are for basketball and baseball are a little more unknown because attendance fluctuates and games are held during the week to a more local group of fans.
The Cup will have more on this developing story as it seems the university will have an announcement later today on this. Hotty Toddy and stay tuned.