Memphis to allow beer for football games

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Those attending University of Memphis home football games will be able to buy beer, a move officials hope will offset losses at the city-funded Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.

Jack Sammons, the city’s chief administrative officer, told The Commercial Appeal on Monday that the beer sales are projected to net $260,000, which would cover much of the loss in general operating costs. Sales would start with the season opener on Sept. 6 again Ole Miss. The stadium already allows beer sales during the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and Southern Heritage Classic games.

Sammons said due to the economy, he was asked to find every opportunity for new revenue without increasing property taxes.

Mary Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Board of Regents, said the system’s policy prohibits alcohol sales on any property owned or controlled by the schools. But she said since the university doesn’t own or control the Liberty Bowl, the off-campus stadium doesn’t have to follow the alcohol ban.

University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Vanderbilt University, which are not under the TBR system, do not allow the sales of beer or alcohol at their stadiums.

Chris Radford, a spokesman for the NCAA, said schools and conferences set their own rules for alcohol sales for regular season games and Division I bowl games are controlled by the Bowl Championship Series and individual bowl committees.

The NCAA, however, does ban sales and venue advertising of all alcohol at its 88 championships and host sites are required to cover up any ads for alcoholic drinks.

Radford said the NCAA does not keep track of how many schools do allow alcohol sales during games.

The Associated Press