Thursday, June 29, 2023

Alcohol sales will continue for a third year at University of Iowa athletic venues, with recommendations to continue to increase safety, modify the university’s response to alcohol-related concerns, and adjust game-day practices.

The Alcohol Sales Evaluation Report from the 2022-23 athletic season says that while most fans reported positive game-day experiences, alcohol-related offenses remained the leading cause of arrests and alcohol was the most frequently referenced reason for negative experiences. The 2022-23 season was the second that beer and wine were sold at Kinnick Stadium, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Duane Banks Field, and Bob Pearl Field.

More than $3 million was generated from beer and wine sales in 2021-22. The final amount from the most recent season has not been tallied.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Most ticket holders who responded to an end-of-season survey were indifferent about the role of alcohol in the game day experience.
  • Younger fans were more likely to view alcohol service as an enhancement. 
  • Ensuring safe and legal sales continues to be a priority, and the Athletics Department will continue working to ensure that the concessionaire Aramark adheres to checking identification and dispensing no more than two drinks per patron. 
  • Emergency room visits and arrests declined.  

The report also recommends continuation of many of the measures that support the UI Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan, including:

  • Maintaining set operating hours for general parking lots surrounding Kinnick Stadium (six hours prior to kickoff).
  • Continuing to allow patrons to bring in closed water bottles, limiting the number of alcoholic beverages sold per purchase, and ensuring food and non-alcoholic beverages are sold.
  • An added emphasis on continuing to support responsible service training provided by outside vendors and volunteers.
  • Providing 30% of the proceeds from alcohol sales to support the university’s alcohol harm reduction efforts.

With the net sales proceeds the university has received from alcohol sales so far, it has invested in both programming and infrastructure to support creating an environment where well-being is embedded in the campus culture. Highlights from the 2022-23 academic year include:

  • Hosting more late-night activities for students
  • Direct intervention on football game days by providing food and water for students making their way to Kinnick Stadium

The university plans to build upon these measures in the coming year with plans to provide additional funding for the Office of Campus Safety’s Nite Ride program and a peer helper pilot program.

Information for the report on the 2022-23 season was gathered from first-hand observations by athletics department and campus safety personnel and Aramark sales staff; campus safety and other data on incidents during athletics events; and a football post-season survey sent to season ticket holders.