Courtesy of UT Athletics:
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AUSTIN, Texasâ€”Beer and wine will be sold in all public and private areas at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium during Texas home football games beginning Sept. 12, with the 2015 home opener against Rice.
While beer and wine sales in the stadium do not require approval from the UT System Chancellor or Board of Regents, President Gregory Fenves and Chancellor Bill McRaven had thoughtful discussions on the matter, and Chancellor McRaven is supportive of President Fenvesâ€™ decision.
The new policy for home football games comes after a lengthy pilot program conducted at other Texas Athletics events since early 2014. All involved parties â€” Texas Athletics, UT Police, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and licensed vendor Sodexo Sports and Leisure â€” evaluated the effectiveness and safety of the trial. It was determined the service should be expanded to include all football public areas since the outcome was positive from a safety, community impact and fan experience standpoint.
â€œFan safety and enjoyment remains our number one priority as we work through the process of expanding beer and wine sales into all seating areas of the stadium,â€ said Texas Menâ€™s Athletics Director Steve Patterson. â€œDuring our extensive pilot, we found fans and staff handled the situation responsibly and we had no negative issues or situations. We will continue to monitor the service closely.â€
Just as similar services are offered in eateries, sports facilities, theaters and other establishments around Texas, all adult beverage sales at UT events is conducted through licensed vendor Sodexo and within regulations established by the state, university and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
â€œWe are expanding what we already do, in an effort to be more inclusive of all fans. Texas Athletics and Sodexo have vended these beverages in football private suites and club areas for several years without incident,â€ Patterson added.
Texas Athletics has long participated in "21 means 21" campaigns with campus and local vendors and also works diligently during home events to ensure under-age individuals are precluded from consuming alcohol.
UT became the fourth UT System school â€” after The University of Texas at El Paso, The University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of Texas at Arlington Ââ€“ to serve adult beverages at sports events. Other in-state institutions offering similar service are the University of North Texas, SMU and the University of Houston.