Kansas Athletics To Sell Beer, Wine at Football Games

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Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

Lawrence, Kan. – Kansas Athletics ticket holders will be able to purchase beer and wine at home football games beginning in August, Kansas Athletics Director Jeff Long announced Wednesday.

Kansas Jayhawk football can be heard on Z-96.3 The Lake in North Central Kansas and FM 95.5 KNDY in Northeast Kansas & Southeast Nebraska.

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“In consultation with the University, Kansas Athletics has introduced the sale of beer and wine at selected venues on a trial basis to help assess the viability of a broader offering of alcoholic beverages,” Long said. “That program has been very successful, and with the support and collaboration of on-campus entities, we are now prepared to expand it. Fans have told us that one of the best ways to enhance their experience at Kansas Athletics events is for them to have the ability to enjoy beer and wine, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity.”

Alcohol sales will be managed by Centerplate, Kansas Athletics’ concessionaire.

“KU and Centerplate are dedicated to responsible service and will collaborate on a Responsible Alcohol Service policy to provide a safe environment while providing a superior customer experience,” Long said. “As an example, those involved in the sale of alcohol will be required to be TIPS-certified (Training for Intervention Procedures).”

As part of the new program, Kansas Athletics is instituting a “No Re-Entry/No Pass” policy that will be strictly enforced at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. In addition, alcohol sales will be suspended at the end of the third quarter.

“Our research and that of others indicates that not only does alcohol availability promote attendance and improve the game-day experience for fans, it has the potential to reduce alcohol-related incidents in and around the venue,” Long said.

For years, alcohol has been permitted in suites at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, and over the past several years beer and wine have also been available to fans in two premium-seating areas at the stadium. In addition, for the last two years a pilot program has included beer and wine sales at concession stands at KU’s baseball, softball and soccer stadiums.

Early in 2019, Chancellor Douglas A. Girod and Interim Provost Carl Lejuez asked a wide-ranging group of campus leaders to form a committee to study the implementation of alcohol sales at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. That committee included leaders from the offices of the Provost, Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research, KU Public Safety, Student Affairs, Administration & Finance, Faculty Development, Compliance, Public Affairs, Human Resources, General Counsel and Athletics.

KU will be the sixth Big 12 institution to make beer and wine available for purchase. The other institutions that have already taken that step are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Texas and Texas Tech. Nationally, approximately 50 Division I FBS programs have public alcohol sales on football game days. Additionally, in April 2018, the NCAA approved alcohol sales at NCAA Championship events for the first time, and more recently the Southeastern Conference lifted its ban on alcohol sales in public spaces.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.