UPDATE (July 16, 2019):
The Knox County Beer Board voted to approve alcohol sales permits at Neyland, Thompson-Boling Arena, and Regal Soccer Stadium -- with three stipulations.
The board met with the company that will be overseeing sales at University of Tennessee sporting events, Aramark, to go over their plans and enforcement policies.
"We wanted to hear what their measurements would be, and who is going to be served, and when and how it's going to happen," said Beer Board Chairman George Wallace.
Aramark's regional director outlined plans they released ahead of the meeting and answered questions. Some dealt with concerns about underage student consumption at games, including a request to add new language to signs around venues that makes penalties clear for patrons who illegally share drinks with those who are underage.
The board was also concerned about the potential for patrons driving under the influence given the 25-ounce two-beer policy. Aramark went over UT's proposed ride-share program, as well as a proposed designated driver incentive program that would allow drivers to get a free soda and be entered into a raffle for a prize of some sort.
The board went over plans for securing exits, ensuring that alcohol is disposed of and there is training for identifying and dealing with intoxicated people.
When asked who would be responsible for expenses for any incidents that could arise, including underage students caught drinking, Aramark said it would depend -- saying obligations will be on both their company and the university to address and provide funding for any additional prevention programs and expenses.
"Our intention is not to serve the students," Aramark said.
The university said they already provide ample security to ensure peoples' safety during games, assuring the board they will be putting a big emphasis on preventing underage consumption.
"We talked to our chief. We have cameras in place, and if a person is caught handing off to a minor -- they will be cited. No exceptions," UT said.
The board approved the permits with one member opposing with stipulations that UT and Aramark will update their signs for rules and penalties for sharing alcohol, provide a designated driver plan, and implement a plan for staffing exits after games and provide training for identifying and addressing intoxicated people.
Aramark said they are ready to begin sales at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday, Aug. 3 for the Alice Cooper show.
A spokesperson for the University wrote in a statement, "We appreciate the opportunity for Aramark, as UT's vendor, to provide additional information as part of the Beer Board licensing process. Aramark receiving the license (pending additional documentation is provided) is one step in a larger process for the university. UT is moving forward to develop the policy and infrastructure to responsibly sell alcohol in accordance with applicable laws. The chancellor has appointed a working group to review what it would take to responsibly move forward with the sale of alcohol prioritizing student and participant well-being, safety and security. The pending beer board license is a step further in that process, but as of now no timelines for implementation have been determined."
Original Story (July 11, 2019):
The company that wants to sell beer and wine at Neyland Stadium and Thompson Boling Arena is ready to get back in front of the Knox County beer board with a much more detailed plan.
When Aramark went before the beer board last month, their plans weren't fully fleshed out so the board deferred a decision.
Now, Aramark will return at the next meeting with full documentation on July 16 where alcohol will be sold, the signage, the limits, the cups beer will be sold in, and more.
In addition to more details, Aramark has also added another UT venue to its request--- the Regal Soccer Stadium.
Here's what you need to know about the plans to sell alcohol at UT sport venues:
- Only beer and wine will be sold at designated concession stands in the general fan concourse areas
- No vendors will walk through the stands to sell alcohol
- There will be a limit of two alcoholic beverages per person at a time
- Beer will be served in a clear cup that's different from other beverages sold, and may look like this:
- Per SEC policy, alcohol sales will end by the end of 3rd quarter of football games, the 12 minute mark of 2nd half for men's basketball games, and the end of 3rd quarter for women's basketball games.
- Beers can't be larger than 25 ounces, wine portions won't exceed 6.5 ounces
- No alcohol concession locations or kiosks will be located in the student sections
- Anyone caught passing beer to a minor will be ejected and may be arrested
- Any minors caught drinking will be ejected and may be arrested
- Additional event staff will monitor the student sections
- Servers will have to undergo training and be licensed as servers by the Tennessee ABC
- Proper ID and proof of age will be required for every purchase of alcohol
- People who are obviously intoxicated will not be served
- A "mystery shopping" program will check compliance at least once a month
- UT will establish designated rideshare locations and a designated driver program
Aramark already manages 13 NFL, 5 NBA, 11 MLB, 7 NHL and 18 college venues that serve alcohol.
The alcohol sales won't only be at sporting events. Aramark also hopes to sell beer and wine at concerts and other special events.