MU eyeing safety with alcohol sales at football home opener

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COLUMBIA - When the University of Missouri football team plays its home opener this Saturday, another option will be on the concessions menu.

MU approved the sale of beer and wine in the main concourse of the stadium after the SEC revised its conference alcohol policy. Now, with the home opener on Saturday, MU has announced whose beer and wine will be sold in the stadium, and for how much.

The stadium will still carry the major brands of beer and wine, but will also carry more local flavors, like Logboat Brewing Company.

Deputy Athletic Director Nick Joos says that having local beers was something the Athletic Department and its concession supplier, Levy Restaurants, could get behind.

"Having a connection to the area, and having flavors fans will enjoy, I think that's very important," Joos said. "That was one that was on the list, and we're very supportive of an entity like that that we can get."

A 16 ounce beer will cost you $8, a 20 ounce beer will go for $9. Wine will start at $7.

Joos says that one of the main goals behind selling beer and wine on site was for safety.

"It would cut down on binge drinking, in their (MUPD) opinion, and also just general bad fan behavior within the stadium," says Joos. "First and foremost it would probably be a security, safety and environment type standpoint that was really the first thing on our mind."

Major Brian Weimer of the University of Missouri Police Department said that while alcohol sales in the general stands may be new, this isn't something new to the department.

"There has been alcohol in the stadium in the past, obviously in the suites, so it's not something that we've never experienced," says Weimer. "We think by these sales we're going to reduce binge drinking and problems coming in from the outside."

Weimer says that those vendors who sell alcohol will have extensive training.

"We'll be working with the servers. They know what they'll be looking for, they'll be trained as good as those at the bars if not better, and they'll address problems before they arrive."

Alcohol won't be sold anywhere near student sections at the stadium per SEC policy. Joos said that while that may cause congestion at other vendors, it's something they'll work through.

"Certainly that's possible, until we see how it unfolds here in week one and then after that, we can adjust as necessary."

MU plays West Virginia Saturday at 11 a.m.