There’s been a lot of discussion this week about whether or not the Tennessee Vols will allow alcohol sales in general seating areas after the SEC lifted the ban last week.
UT athletic director Phillip Fulmer recently discussed several topics with the Knoxville News Sentinel and potential alcohol sales at Tennessee was one of those topics.
Here’s what Fulmer had to say:
We already are exploring it, and two schools in our state are already serving alcohol at games. To what degree and how, that’s strictly to be determined.”
Memphis and Middle Tennessee State, as noted by the Knoxville News Sentinel, are the two in-state schools currently serving alcohol at games.
What to make of Fulmer’s comments
Based on Fulmer’s comments, it’s not if Tennessee will serve alcohol, but when they will start serving alcohol.
There’s clearly a lot of money to be made by serving alcohol. And let’s be honest — money is at the root of most decisions.
Tennessee, however, can’t just blindly enter the world of alcohol sales. They have to make sure they do it the right/safe way.
UT sporting events tend to be a large mix of college students and families. Balancing those two crowds can be a bit of a challenge. When you throw alcohol into the mix, it’s even more of a challenge.
But it’s not exactly a brand new situation, either. There’s already plenty of alcohol at tailgates (some tailgaters, especially at late games, never even make it into the stadium) and there’s alcohol that fans sneak into the stadium. Regulating alcohol at sporting events could actually cut down (somewhat) on pre-game drinking and folks sneaking airplane bottles of liquor into events.
At this point, I’d be surprised if Tennessee doesn’t allow alcohol sales in the very near future. It’s too early to know how soon, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they make a decision and begin sales later this fall.
Featured image via Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports