September 7 was a historic day for the Tennessee Vols football program. Not only because of the first game ever against the visiting BYU Cougars, but because beer was finally for sale for the first time in Neyland Stadium.
One thing the people of VolNation who were not at the game likely want to know is what the impact of the beer flowing in the stadium had on the 92,000 in attendance.
My opinion: Overall, it was disappointing.
I’m not saying the atmosphere in Neyland was disappointing. The Volunteer fans made themselves heard on Saturday. However, the stadium selling beer did not live up to the hype surrounding it.
Not including the fact that fans paid $12 for a $3 beer, the wait for the beer was too long.
When I arrived at the stadium it was roughly 15 minutes before kickoff. Once I was inside, I immediately went to the beer stand. An employee told me the nearest stand was roughly six sections away from mine. When I got there the line was very long. I expected that, but it also moved very slow. By the time I reached the front, bought my Miller Lite, and got to my seat, there was only five minutes left in the first quarter.
I stood in line for about 20-30 minutes and missed a significant amount of football. To me, it was not worth it.
Alcohol was sold at Neyland Stadium for the first time Saturday. Below is an “incident” comparison between Saturday’s game and Tennessee’s most recent September 7 p.m. kickoff. pic.twitter.com/V1vlaAHQd7
— Tom Satkowiak (@TomSatkowiak) September 9, 2019
I believe the main reason for the wait was the beer stands seemed understaffed. The one I went to had two long lines, two cashiers, and four people pouring the beer into cups. If they add two more cashiers and one or two more people pouring, the wait wouldn’t be nearly as long. The cashier I spoke to also said the card reader and pouring the beers added time to the transactions.
Multiple fans said they expected to wait a long time, but it still needed improvement.
I wouldn’t have had such a big problem with the long wait if the stadium put TV’s at the stands. Other stands in the stadium might have them, but the few I saw did not. Instead, I resorted to watching most of the first quarter on a stranger’s phone.
There are TV’s at multiple concession stands so adding some to the beer stands is a possibility.
If you’re a die-hard Tennessee Vols football fan who needs to watch as much football as possible, buying a beer in the stadium is not worth the wait.
However, if you’re a Tennessee fan who wants to go to the game, drink beer, and have fun, you’ll probably have a good time.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports