KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Even with a delay in the vote from the Knoxville City Council Beer Board, chairman George Wallace has confidence the American food service company Aramark will present a solid case to bring beer, wine and alcohol to two University of Tennessee venues.
"I think if they can assure the beer board and have that confidence that we have done this before, we have at other places, this is how it's going to be done, this is going to be the process, with all that confidence, I feel very confident it will be approved," said Wallace.
Aramark presented some of the points Wallace detailed on Tuesday night at the monthly Beer Board meeting in an alcohol compliance service plan, but failed to provide enough depth in their assessments, which warranted the delay in the vote, according to Wallace.
"We just wanted to know more details," said Wallace. "They offered a more robust program for server compliance within a couple of weeks."
The current plan details training requirements for those serving beer as well as examples of the signage that would be placed throughout Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena.
During the presentation, Aramark requested four separate permits - two for both Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena. Each venue is divided into two sections: the 'bowl' where most patrons would be, and the suites area.
In Neyland, only beer would be sold the general admission areas in the bowl, and wine would be an additional option for the suites.
For TBA, it would allow beer to be sold in the 'bowl,' and allow a fully-stocked bar in the suites area.
The bowl makes up most of the general admission viewing area for both Neyland and Thompson-Boling Arena. In addition, there's an inclusion of a Beer Garden in both plans for Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena.
"They want to have assurances," said Wallace. "What the process is going to be to card people? How many beers will be served? How long in the game, when will they be cut off?"
There are also challenges presented by the architecture and design of Neyland Stadium. Multiple entrances can make identifying age for alcohol sales at the door difficult, according to Wallace.
"They've (Aramark) got the history, they've got the responsibility to do that and they'll have all that, I think we just wanted to see it in plain, simple English," said Wallace.
Ultimately with this delay, the board is using caution -- making sure there is a strict program in place to prevent underage drinking.
"It's our responsibility to make sure those procedures are in place," said Wallace. "How can we assure the public and assure parents that their kids are not going to be served or handed an alcoholic drink from someone else."
Wallace looks at identification programs with professional teams when it comes to alcohol as an example for the venues to follow. According to its website, Aramark currently works with 38 teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB.
The next Beer Board meeting will be held on July 16.