Off-campus game means beer in stands

Thursday, November 22, 2007 | 9:28 p.m. CST; updated 1:33 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Thirsty fans at this weekend’s MU-KU Border Showdown need look no farther than the concession stands at Arrowhead Stadium for beer.

Instead of an alcohol-free game such as those played at Faurot Field in Columbia and Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, this weekend’s matchup at the Kansas City Chiefs’ stadium will include beer sales.

Typically, fans cannot purchase alcohol at college games.

“(Prohibiting alcohol sales) is just part of the tradition of college athletics,” said MU athletics spokesman Chad Moller. “(Selling alcohol during athletic games) has just never really been done on college campuses.”

In conjunction with the long-standing precedent that prohibits alcohol at college games is the long-standing tradition that allows alcohol at off-campus games.

Thus, the decision to sell beer at Arrowhead was hardly contentious.

“There was no decision. It’s something we’ve done at all college games here with the exception of the Big 12 championship game,” Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said.

The NCAA has jurisdiction only over championship games, where it forbids the sale of alcohol, said Stacey Osburn, associate director of public and media relations for the NCAA.

“During regular season games, each school is responsible for setting its own alcohol policies,” Osburn said.

Moller said the decision to permit alcohol sales Saturday was routine.

“I think if you check around the country, it’s a standard thing for games that are off campus,” Moller said.

To some, the decision to permit beer sales at a college football game would seem like asking for trouble.

However, Moore said Arrowhead will not be taking extra precautions to prevent underage drinking, but it does plans to have additional police and stadium personnel on hand.

He called the normal carding practices “stringent” and pointed out that fans can only buy a small amount of beer at a time. Moreover, he said, alcohol sales are shut down after halftime.

The process for checking identification will be the same as it is for the NFL games normally held at Arrowhead.

“The rules that apply here are the rules that apply during NFL games,” Moore said. “It doesn’t have to do with someone being any more observant or less depending on the game. You always card.”

The extra officers are primarily there to help guide ticketholders unfamiliar with Arrowhead rather than as extra security to contain potentially rowdy fans, he said.

“There will be extra security, but they won’t all be police,” Moore said. “Most will be stadium (help).”

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