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Barnhart: No alcohol sales at UK in 2019-20

There will be no public alcohol sales at UK games during the 2019-2020 season. Mitch Barnart announced the university’s decision during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

“We have decided to not have public alcohol sales at any UK athletic events during the 2019-20 season,” Barnhart said. “It is our goal, as well as our responsibility, to create a safe, secure, positive, engaging environment for fans of all ages and from all walks of life. We believe we have an outstanding college fan experience at our games; though we recognize we can always find ways to do better, we’re also careful about what we have currently in place.”

Not all is completely lost if you want a little booze with your football at Kroger Field this fall, there is still a way you can obtain an ice cold beer during UK games: be wealthy. The university declined to take advantage of the SEC’s recent lift on its ban of public alcohol sales, but alcohol will continue to be sold in certain premium seating areas for those who can afford it.

When asked why it is available to some and not to others, Barnhart replied, “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.”

The conversation will be revisited at a later date for athletic seasons on down the road. “I’m not making a yearly decision on this thing, that’s not where we want to be,” Barnhart said. “We’re going to monitor for awhile and if there is something that says it makes good sense to change our thought process or change directions, then we’ll do that. But right now I feel pretty good about where we are.”

He also said “alcohol is not the answer” to increasing revenue.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

69 Comments for Barnhart: No alcohol sales at UK in 2019-20

  1. satcheluk
    2:49 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    I’ll drink to that! ?????

  2. Jageewar
    2:50 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    So no alcohol sales in 2019-2020, or alcohol sales is just the VIP sections in 2019-2020

  3. peaches76
    2:50 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Mitch, the fan experience at games is not what you think it is….obviously. But keep right on providing the high rollers with in-game alcohol!!!

    • catdaddyd
      5:19 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      They should have one side of the stadium with alcohol sales and the other side dry. That would give them a chance to monitor the situation and people could sit in their preferred area.

  4. ukwildcat1991
    2:51 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Well that’s a lot of money left on the table

  5. Witnessed
    2:51 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    ?????? Guess I’ll keep sneaking it in

  6. Jrock
    2:51 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Was there that big of a problem with drunk fans at games. Have to say it’s dissapointing.

    • Cokely53
      3:05 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      A little kid was killed by a drunk driver last year at a game.

    • Cokely53
      3:34 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Was just pointing out something that happened. He was still a drunk fan at the game whether he got it in the stadium or not. That still factors into the decision to sell it or not. I’m personally for alcohol sales but you have to factor in everything for a decision like that.

    • J-Dub421
      3:10 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      By an 18 year old frat boy who shouldn’t have been drunk in the first place. Maybe UK should get rid of fraternities instead.

    • ClutchCargo
      3:14 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      An 18 year old drinking beer obtained from outside the stadium would not be stopped by any rule UK could put into place. Drunk driving should be banned. /s

    • gobble gobble
      5:58 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      When the little kid was hit by the drunk driver last year, were they selling alcohol at the stadium?? NO! It doesn’t matter whether or not the stadium sells alcohol, people are still gonna drunk, and bad shit happens sometimes. Mitchy boy, quit trying to control that which is uncontrollable. This is a terrible decision…

  7. ZeProtector
    2:52 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Beyond disappointed. Alcohol sales are already authorized in the stadium (if you pay enough) so the safety excuse goes out the window. Guess my season tickets aren’t good enough.

    • WKY Cat
      5:47 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Simple solution. Stop going to games. If the stadium is bare ole Mitch will change his tune very fast. He can say money wasn’t part of the decision but when ticket sales dry up money will be part of the decision.

    • iambear1
      9:31 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink

      So, stop supporting the team – players and coaches – because you can’t have a few beers? Solid support system of this is the way our fans are gonna think.

  8. ChrisHamby
    2:53 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    “No alcohol for the plebians only the patricians” is what he meant to say

  9. iambear1
    2:54 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Love it, decisions like this are why Mitch is one of the best ADs.

    • Booher
      3:03 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      I guess you sit down low where you can drink must be nice rich folks need more privileges in live I guess

    • iambear1
      9:33 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Sure don’t! Upper deck pretty much every game back since I left Lexington.

    • Nickerbocker05
      3:27 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      What a d-bag you are! Bet you got a trust fund and all don’t you p.o.s. Iamdouche1

    • iambear1
      9:32 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Ha, I was a student at UK for 5 years, taking off every other semester or so to work so I could pay for the next one. Every game I’ve been to since has pretty much been in the upper deck. I’m a d-bag though because I support our AD’s decision??

    • satcheluk
      11:17 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      It’s says you’re a bear, but you talk like a cub.

    • iambear1
      9:33 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Doesn’t really make sense..not sure what you’re implying here.

  10. Mike Honcho
    2:58 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Ditch Mitch 2020

  11. CliveWinston
    3:03 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Unless youre rich

  12. Ridge Runner
    3:03 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    I imagine this was a very difficult decision to reach. Lots to consider.

    • iambear1
      9:34 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink


  13. W F Reserve
    3:04 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Personally, I am okay with this decision today. I get plenty to drink before the games and have time to get it out of my system by the end of the game. I have seen what alcohol sales during the game can do to a crowd, the bathroom lines, the stench of spilled beer on the concourse, seats, and steps, and the fights (see Papa Johns). Hopefully, this will not be a decision that affects attendance or puts us in a less competitive situation. Maybe there is middle ground somewhere, i.e. sell until half-time is over, etc.

  14. ClutchCargo
    3:09 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    It’s just a way to say “we just want to put off dealing with this” without actually saying that. I think we all saw this coming when he waited this long to announce anything.

    • Ridge Runner
      3:11 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Nailed it.

  15. StillBP
    3:09 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    People so mad. Just keep sneaking it in and saving your money… You’ll come out at ahead money-wise

    • StillBP
      3:10 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Heck they sell alcohol at Keeneland but I still bring my own. Can use all the money I save on alcohol to bet and lose lol

    • J-Dub421
      3:13 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      I wouldn’t really care, if not for the hypocrisy of continuing to sell alcohol to the VIP rich people.

    • ClutchCargo
      3:18 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Right! I have no desire to buy overpriced concession stand beer at games. But it makes no sense to allow some people this option and not others.

  16. Cousins Fake Tooth
    3:16 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Oh look, something in the state lagging behind the rest of the nation…again.

    • BluemanGreen
      4:27 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink


  17. Headhurts
    3:18 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Ticket sales r good after 10 win season, wait til sales are off again and we’ll reconsider, money talks.

    • Nickerbocker05
      3:30 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      This ain’t UL… UK never has bad ticket sales bud.

    • Kernel Sanders
      4:16 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Nickerbocker guess you missed the part where we downsized stadium seating due to declining attendance. And you missed out on buying tickets for the majority of games for about $10 prior to kickoff because people couldn’t give them away….and that was in several recent Stoops’ seasons.

  18. ukgrad83
    3:19 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Let them eat cake. The hypocrisy is laughable.

  19. kentuckybackupplayer
    3:29 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    I am for them not selling, cheaper to make your own up in papaw’s holler and sneak it in.

    • Ridge Runner
      3:38 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Damn, ya knew my pawpaw? Heh…

    • RAGE
      2:36 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Lol that was funny… nice one Ridge Runner

  20. motorcitywings
    3:32 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Barnhart has done a great job as AD. He should be cut some slack over this one. Maybe UK will be one year late to the booze train than others. It’s poor optics to dispense more alcohol after the tragedy of last year. Even though this decision can’t prevent further drinking and driving tragedies around the stadium, I can see the hesitancy from UK to eagerly jump two feet in.

  21. michaelb
    3:43 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Traditional Mitch … you almost have to admire it at this point lol

  22. michaelb
    3:44 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    This subject is not one that tugs my heart strings one way or the other … hope you all foaming at the mouth find peace somewhere

  23. Twick39
    4:22 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    What happened with the child last year was awful to say the least, however saying that the driver was “drunk” is debatable. He blew a .05 which is under the legal limit, but being under 21 is an automatic dui. I honestly figured this wouldnt pass because of this tragedy. The fact that they keep filling up the cups of the rich obviously shows that this hypocrisy using the safety excuse…… oh, sweet checkerboards also mitch.

  24. 4everUKblue
    5:17 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    First the checkerboards, then that ridiculous wildcat logo and now this…

  25. UKCatAttack
    5:50 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    I’m ok with the decision. I agree with others that it is hypocritical to sell alcohol in premium sections. I do enjoy having a few beers every now and then but I don’t understand why people find it necessary to drink at every event they go to. It’s bad enough buying the overpriced pizza and soda, but the beer is completely outrageous. You can buy a 12 pack for the price of 1 beer at these games.

    • satcheluk
      11:20 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      You can buy a case of Cokes for the price of one. What’s your point?

  26. mashman 93
    5:55 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder if he will be as touchy about this going forward as he is when Matt brings up the checkerboard uniforms.

  27. A_Blue_Wildcat
    6:03 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    The world would be a better place if alcohol didn’t exist.

    Change my mind

    • 4everUKblue
      6:35 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      You can add drug abuse to that. I totally agree.

    • ukgrad83
      8:44 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Is civilization a good thing or a bad thing? Without the creation of alcoholic beverages (beer specifically), civilization as we know it would likely be very different. Like most things, alcohol by itself isn’t bad, it’s the abuse that is bad.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:22 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Addiction is a growing problem and yes alcohol is a drug, our esteemed leaders are doing as little as possible to help the problem. Could it be they’re making too much money off the abuse? I have no problem with responsible drinking, but how do you monitor that?

    • J-Dub421
      2:05 pm August 2, 2019 Permalink

      Stop trying to tell other people how to live their lives. If you don’t want to drink. then don’t.

  28. bbanks81
    6:23 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    I have been in the Liquor/Beer business for almost 20 years. It seems to me that this is all smoke and mirrors from Mitch, as I simply don’t think they had time to make the infrastructure changes needed with Commonwealth (Kroger) Stadium for the draft lines and the extra urinals needed to keep the fan experience tolerable. Don’t be surprised when we get a “after reviewing this year we have decided to…..” speech next year. Don’t worry ladies and gents, the Bud Light will flow in the 2020-21 season, and I’d put money on that bet.

    • satcheluk
      11:22 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

      Butt Light sucks, so if that’s the only choice, then stay dry.

  29. CahillsCrossingNT
    6:29 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    It’s only a matter of time before it’s sold because it’s too much revenue to throw away. I for one oppose it since too many people can’t handle it.

  30. unbiasedfan
    6:48 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    Your a joke Drew!! Your obviously cannot go 3 hours at an event without a beer. Also you obviously think a $5 beer has more meaning than someone’s life that been taken from a drunk driver. My brother lost his life to one when he was set to graduate high school in 3 months when his life was taken. Priorities are in Mitch’s favor on this one.

  31. Larkin123
    7:03 pm August 1, 2019 Permalink

    How much revenue does it coat us?

  32. notFromhere
    12:05 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

    If you want a BETTER experience for fans at the games, serve alcohol IN THE STADIUM rather than let it be uncontrolled OUTSIDE OF THE STADIUM!!

    Once someone goes to order a dri k i side the stadium, you can determine levels of sobriety (perhaps through breathalyzer) to limit liability and increase safety. Have those legally drunk detox while watching the game somewhere they will be safe and the fans that were around them will be safe from them.


    Been a while since I disagreed with Mitch, but the only people that this helps are the liquor stores around town.

  33. TheTweak
    6:15 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

    This was not Mitch’s decision he’s just the mouthpiece. Even worse, it’s the Prez and the board calling these shots. They’re the ones in the suites getting hammered at the games!

    • ukgrad83
      8:44 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

      /\ /\ This!

  34. Wildcat homer
    8:13 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder how the other SEC schools are handling beer sales?

  35. Bourbon-n-Coke
    8:33 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

    Mitch has no clue what SEC football fans want from their in-game experience. Plastic turf?! Kroger Field?! No alcohol?! And he blew over $150 million on stadium renovations that have not improved my in-game experience yet! Stay in your office Mitch and hire an assistant to make football game experience decisions, then maybe we will have more sellouts and the stands will be filled.

  36. mothandras
    9:34 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

    If anyone wants alcohol during the game just go to Mitch’s suite.. he isn’t worried about alcohol in the stadium because he already has his.

  37. IndianaSucks
    10:21 am August 2, 2019 Permalink

    Alcohol is always the answer.