Kentucky announces final alcohol policy for Kroger Field
Kentucky was the latest SEC school to announce it would not sell alcohol in general seating areas this fall at its stadium, Kroger Field.
In a press conference on Thursday, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said the decision was “my call” and the possibility of selling more season tickets because of alcohol sales was not enough to change his mind. Making money off of alcohol sales was also not considered.
The policy went into effect on Thursday after the SEC in May said it would allow individual schools to decide whether to sell alcohol in the general seating areas of their stadiums.
Alcohol sales will still be allowed in suites and other specially designated areas, such as the premium luxury suite like the Woodford Reserve Club
“I don’t think you’re going to please everybody on every issue,” Barnhart said, according to the Courier-Journal. “What we’ve tried to do is say in the overarching piece: We want people to feel that it’s a family-friendly safe place to come to watch sporting events where the focus is primarily on young people that play the games and keep the focus there.”
Barnhart was pressed multiple times by reporters who asked why the school would allow it in certain areas, specifically for fans willing to pay more money, or make higher donations.
“It’s a little more confined to that area (in the suites),” he said. “We have fewer people in terms of responsibility in terms of that. When you do the math it’s not near the numbers that we’re responsible for. … There’s decision making that goes into all of that too. There’s no one size fits all in these things.
“…I’ll be honest with you, I felt like if we said we were going to at this point in time with what people have enjoyed with the experience at Kroger Field and Rupp Arena part of that is that they would walk away from us if we did that.”
Mitch Barnhart when asked about the decision to ban alcohol sales to the general public when it’s still available in premium seating. pic.twitter.com/1bctRRBJ8R
— Tom Lane (@TomLaneWDRB) August 1, 2019