UA Athletics places an indefinite hold on alcohol sales at Coleman Coliseum + what the mayor has to say

Ua Athletics
Coleman Coliseum at the University of Alabama. (Keilani Hamann)

If you were looking forward to grabbing a cold one at the next basketball game at the Coleman Coliseum, you might have to wait a while. UA Athletics is placing a hold on alcohol sales after Tuscaloosa Council updated a service fee policy. Read more to find out what this means.

No alcohol sales anytime soon

As reported by The Bama Buzz, two weeks ago the Tuscaloosa City Council approved alcohol sales at the Coleman Coliseum, allowing for the purchases of beer, wine and hard seltzers at UA basketball games or gymnastics meets. On Feb. 8, the council changed their service fee policy, adding an additional fee to all ticketed events with alcohol sales. This disappointed UA Athletics causing them to place a hold on ALL alcohol sales at Coleman.

They’re considering expanding the hold to all stadiums including Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Here’s how the fee policy works:

  • $1 for events with 1,000 to 20,000 people,
  • $2 for events between 20,000 and 50,000
  • $3 for events with 50,000+ attendees

Why UA is pending review

Dissatisfied with this new fee, UA Athletics Director Greg Byrne announced that UA will be stopping alcohol sales at ALL venues, including Coleman Coliseum + Bryant-Denny Stadium. You can read his statement below.

Coleman Coliseum has a capacity of just over 15,000 which means only a fee of $1 will be added to each ticket. On the other hand, Bryant-Denny Stadium (which has not been approved for alcohol sales yet) has a capacity of over 100K, so a fee of $3 would be added to every football ticket.

What the Tuscaloosa mayor had to say

According to the Tuscaloosa Thread, Mayor Walt Maddox claims the service fee will cover the cost of overtime hours for the Tuscaloosa police and fire departments. Additionally, the fees will help pay for transporting people from alcohol-related cases to the county jail and housing them there.

“I have great respect for the University and certainly great respect for what [Byrne] has done, but I also have great respect for public safety, and that is our sacred responsibility.”

Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa Mayor

UA Athletics has kept a close eye on schools that started selling alcohol directly after the SEC lifted the ban of alcohol sales back in 2019. Byrne believes that selling alcohol will help public safety because students and other attendees won’t sneak in beer if they can purchase it at the games.

“We’ve been able to watch the other schools and the reporting we have gotten back from other schools is that alcohol incidents at their games actually go down once they sell because it’s a much more controlled environment.”

Greg Byrne, UA Athletics Director

Overall, this is a pretty crazy turn of events. We hope we can see a resolution soon.

What do you think about these fees? Let us know by tagging us @TheBamaBuzz.

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Summer Guffey

Lover of Weiss Lake in the summertime and camping at Cheaha in the autumn.

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