UK Athletics Information for Alcohol Beverage Sales in 2023-24
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Having begun sales of alcoholic beverages at baseball and softball home games in spring 2023, those offerings will continue and be expanded across University of Kentucky Athletics home events in 2023-24.
Ahead of the football season, UK Athletics is providing additional information regarding the new alcohol sales.
Beverages will include beer and seltzer products. Sales will have a limit of two (2) per transaction. Identification checks will take place at each transaction. For football, alcohol sales will conclude at the end of the third quarter.
Below are map diagrams featuring beverage and concessions offerings in Kroger Field:
Q: Since the Southeastern Conference first permitted alcohol sales at home venues in 2019, Kentucky Athletics has chosen not to do so. Why the change now?
A: The gameday experience for our student-athletes and fans is extremely important to us. This is a significant change and we wanted to monitor how this affected the home atmosphere and gameday-management operations at other league schools. In recent years, the norm has shifted, and fans have come to expect beer as an amenity at entertainment events.
Q: What role did UK campus authorities play in this decision?
A: As we have said before, this has been a collective decision we made as an institution, and we are appreciative of the support we receive from our administration.
Q: What do you say to the fans who have expressed the desire to keep our athletics events without alcohol sales?
A: It’s well-known that there are strong opinions on each side of the issue. Being considerate of those who have voiced those concerns is part of why we have moved deliberately and taken some time to get to this point. Our concessions partner, Aramark, is managing beer/seltzer sales at venues all across the country and will be monitoring consumption to help ensure a positive fan experience.
Q: Are you concerned that some fans will no longer come to games because of alcohol sales?
A: Providing a positive, enjoyable gameday experience for all our fans is a foundational principle for us. Our goal is to continue to provide that experience so that everyone feels comfortable in attending our events.
Q: Will you have an alcohol-free seating section?
A: That is not planned at this time; however, beer and seltzer will only be sold in designated locations.
Q: Will you have an evaluation process for fans who appear to be overserved?
A: Aramark has deep experience and provides training in managing alcohol sales in a way that protects the fan experience. Aramark also provides dedicated monitors at every venue where it sells alcohol.
Q: You talk about the fan experience, but what about the student-athlete experience? Do you worry that UK athletes or their opponents could be subject to inappropriate or rude behavior if alcohol were sold during games?
A: We always monitor fan behavior at every venue in the interest of a positive experience for everyone involved and that will continue. Our culture of UK Athletics is support for our teams and respect for the opponent. We will continue to have a high standard of sportsmanship at our contests and will not stray from that principle.
Q: What role did financial considerations play in the decision and how much money do you expect to make?
A: The possibility of an additional revenue stream played a role in the decision but was not a primary consideration. In making our decision, revenue considerations come in a distant third to the student and fan experiences. The revenue raised will not be a significant piece of our funding.