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Bottoms Up: Ole Miss Gives Nod to Sell Alcohol at Athletic Events

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor
adam.brown@hottytoddy.com

Ole Miss made the official move on Friday to bring the party inside Vaught-Hemingway stadium for the last three home football games. The official date of sale will begin Oct. 19 when the Rebels play host to the Texas A&M Aggies.

Ole Miss joins fellow SEC schools Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt to sell alcohol at athletic events after the conference made a decision in the summer to give member institutions a choice. 

Fans will be able to buy a variety of domestic and imported beer along with spiked seltzer’s.  Sales will stop at the end of the third quarter of each game.

“The university has been deliberate in our approach to making this change,” said Ole Miss Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks. “We have assessed the relevant issues and focused on an implementation timetable that works best for our university. Maintaining the safety of our patrons and participants and maintaining an atmosphere suitable for families is of utmost importance. We appreciate the support and patience of our fans as we implement this change.”

Interim athletics director Keith Carter said the sale of alcohol in the Vaught is another opportunity to enhance what is already one of the premier game days in college football.

“We expect this decision to help reduce incidents associated with overconsumption on gamedays,” he said. “The athletics department will work hand-in-hand with other campus officials and within the guidelines of the SEC to ensure a safe and responsible environment for all fans.”

Ray Hawkins, chief of the University Police Department, reiterated that.

“We expect in-stadium sales to reduce the temptation for binge drinking during pregame or sneaking in alcoholic beverages,” he said. “This sales plan should lead to more responsible consumption and reduce negative behavior in the stands.”

The university’s decision to wait until Oct. 19 was prompted by several considerations, including:
• The need to promote responsible behavior and consumption inside athletics venues,
• The need to assess and fulfill incremental staffing needs,
• The desire to allow time to consider any implications for the campus community and internal policies and processes
• The ability to learn from other schools’ experience with in-venue sales during the upcoming football season.

The sale of alcohol will be implemented across the Ole Miss athletic family including men’s and women’s basketball and baseball season.


Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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