All of you peasants with regular jobs and regular UK football tickets, you can’t have alcohol at Kentucky football games. Sorry, but there are families in the stands and we can’t have you messing up the whole game day experience with your party tricks. You should’ve donated more to the K Fund.
But you in the blue sweater with Ferragomos on at a college football game, can I get you another Tito’s and soda?
This is what I heard when Mitch Barnhart explained UK’s reasoning for providing alcohol in premium areas of Kroger Field, but not throughout the entire stadium, which the Southeastern Conference now allows. Barnhart said there are “different experiences in different areas of the stadium” (ya think?) and right now UK has the fan experience it feels it needs.
The decision to not sell alcohol publicly isn’t a surprise, and UK isn’t the only school in the league to hold off on tapping the kegs. It is an understandable decision as well, given the awful alcohol-related tragedy that occurred outside a UK football game last fall.
You don’t want to sell it, fine. I get it. I disagree but whatever. The football will still be played and Kentucky will still beat Louisville and all will be happy. But the regular fans (who still pay a lot of money to support the program, I’ll add) need a better explanation as to why they can’t enjoy a beer on a Saturday afternoon in Kroger Field when people seated just a couple aisles over can suck down a bourbon after every score.
I am afraid Mitch will soon find he upset a lot of UK’s loyal fans over the alcohol policy. He could’ve eased the blow with a better explanation, because this ain’t it:
“I think there are experiences that you have in different areas of your stadium, and I understand that is a concern. We have a fan experience in the public areas of our stands that I sort of think are where we want to be right now. There is an availability in the premium areas that is different, and we recognize that, but the overarching 55,000 people in the stands, we feel like we have an experience that we think at this point in time a college experience should feel like. It gives families still an opportunity to enjoy Kentucky athletics.”
It isn’t a money issue. We don’t want to get into the money issue. Is there money to be made? I have no idea. That wasn’t the decision point for us. The decision point was what we want it to feel like, what we want it to look like. At this point in time, we want it to feel like — well, we feel like it’s a pretty solid place and a pretty neat experience at the University of Kentucky, so we’ll leave it at that.”
Just say it: You can drink if you’re a wealthy donor and you can’t if you’re not.