TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Tuscaloosa City Council has approved the selling of beer, wine and hard seltzers at the Coleman Coliseum.
The state of Alabama must grant a liquor license to the arena as well. Coleman Coliseum is home to several University of Alabama sports teams, including the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The Southeastern Conference lifted a ban on alcohol sales in public seating areas of on-campus stadiums in 2019, leaving the final decision to universities.
No liquor will be sold during events and all attendees who purchase alcohol must be over 21 and will have their IDs checked.
“Since it’s new to Alabama we wanted to make a good impression and we don’t even want to take any chances,” Herbert Tesh, a representative from Levy Premium Food Service said at a city council meeting Tuesday. “It just makes sense, it’s easier and it takes the guess work out of it. It’s going to make a few people upset, but at the end of the day if you want to have a beer, you’re just going to have to show your ID.”
Employees at the arena will also go through a program that will teach them how to serve the drinks appropriately during sporting events.
“It’s coming. I think we’ve all known it and now that at least three SEC schools have already bit the bullet, we’ll probably soon see all 14 schools will have it,” City Council President Kip Tyner said.
The vote passed 6-1 on Tuesday night. Tyner knows not everyone is on board with the decision. He is hopeful the city can use ticket sales to help with first responder pensions.
“If we can do it to strengthen our men and women in blue and all the men and women in the fire department then I think it’s a good thing,” Tyner said.
According to Tyner, council will discuss how best to use the money from ticket sales next week as the agenda item was added to Tuesday night’s meeting late last week.
Tesh said Levy is looking at a plan for football games to add alcohol sales.
Sales at the Coleman Coliseum could happen just in time for the Kentucky game this weekend.
Stay with CBS 42 as this is a developing story.