Notebook: Beer and wine to be sold at Memorial Stadium this fall

The SEC lifted its ban on in-stadium alcohol sales in May.
A Missouri helmet is left on the sideline during practice on Faurot Field. Madeline Carter

With Missouri’s first home game just under a month away, Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced that beer and wine will be sold within Memorial Stadium this fall.

Missouri joins Arkansas, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M in doing so after the Southeastern Conference changed its policy in May.

In accordance with the SEC regulations, alcohol sales will end with the conclusion of the third quarter. Fans who are 21 years old and older can purchase two drinks per transaction at select concession stands, as no alcohol will be sold in the stadium bowl. All alcohol will also be poured into a cup instead of being distributed in cans or bottles.

"Based on the experiences of other institutions, we expect Mizzou football fans will appreciate this new option,” Sterk said in a statement Friday. “We also expect alcoholic beverage sales at Memorial Stadium will help reduce the incidents associated with binge drinking that can occur on game day. We consider that a win-win for our fans.”

An alcohol-free zone, where no alcohol will be sold, will also be established within the stadium. Tickets for that zone will be clearly marked.

Missouri will also implement a designated driving program that will provide free fountain drinks to fans who identify themselves as sober drivers at guest services booths around the stadium.

"As part of this move, fans can also expect an increase in game-day messaging and education with regard to responsible consumption and sober driving, as part of our partnership with the campus Wellness Center," Sterk said.

Before Missouri’s decision had even been announced, coach Barry Odom commented on the decision-making process and the work involved.

“I know Mizzou’s done studies— not just this year, but years past and previous— on how that would affect the fan experience, what is right for the university setting, and I know they’re continuing to work on that,” Odom said.

Sterk also mentioned those studies.

"Since the SEC staff established its working group to study this issue in 2018, our staff has been working with campus leadership, including MU Chief of Police Doug Schwandt, and our Wellness Center team, to develop a detailed and thoughtful alcoholic beverage sales plan for Mizzou in the event that the SEC position on this issue were to change,” he said.

Plans to expand alcohol sales to other Missouri venues in the upcoming year won’t be announced until after feedback is received from stakeholders following the football season.

Winning habits die hard

Following practice Friday morning, Odom talked about the habits he’s trying to form within his players.

“The process of the winning habits you’ve gotta form everyday— that’s the things that we have to focus on and we are focused on,” Odom said. “We got a vision of who we wanna be and how we wanna get there, but those habits have gotta match that.”

With Saturday’s practice slated to be a scrimmage, Odom was clear about what he wanted to see from his team after the completion of their first week of camp.

“Offensively, to be able to protect the football [is] number one,” Odom said. “The sustained drives and playing at a consistent level, and to see some of the new guys, how they perform in live situations for the first time. Defensively, I want to be able to stop the run and try and find a way to force turnovers.”

Odom called Wednesday’s practice the “best practice that we’ve had here in a long, long time.” However, he stressed that there are still plenty of areas to improve and that he expects each day of practice to be better than the last.

“We got a lot of work to do, but the willingness and the application on the things that we have talked about in team meeting situations, in our position meetings, and the moves that we need to make and the things that they’ve done,” Odom said. “They have taken that over from the meeting and they’ve been able to apply it in live situations.”

Injury Updates

A handful of players were sidelined Friday during the first practice on Faurot Field. Luckily for Missouri, most were not serious.

Freshmen Jalani Williams and CJ Boone both visited the dentist Thursday and were still recovering from minor procedures.

“I guess it’s the time to go to the dentist,” Odom joked.

Junior Tyree Gillespie sat out practice with a muscle strain in his hip area. Redshirt senior Johnathon Johnson had his foot stepped on and did not practice fully. Odom said the wide receiver would be fine.

Edited by Maureen Dunne | mdunne@themaneater.com

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