The University of Iowa Athletics Department announced the creation of a pilot program to expand beer and wine sales at athletic facilities. Beginning this fall, beer and wine will be available for purchase throughout Kinnick Stadium, with the exception of areas immediately adjacent to the respective student section. Athletic events at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Duane Banks Field and Bob Pearl Field will also be included in the pilot program during the 2021-22 school year.
“We have been working with our campus partners on this for some time now and we are committed to maintaining a safe and enjoyable game day environment. While there is an opportunity for increased revenue, this decision was based on enhancing the fan experience and providing an additional amenity to our fans,” said Iowa athletic director Gary Barta.“At the conclusion of the 2021-22 academic year, we will work with our campus partners to review this pilot program.”
Thirty percent of net alcohol sales will be directed towards research-based initiatives developed and supported by the UI Alcohol Harm Reduction Committee, formed in 2009 to decrease high-risk drinking and the related harmful consequences.
The athletics department will also modify its parking lot hours as part of the pilot program. In the past, UI controlled parking lots opened for tailgating at 6 a.m. on game day, regardless of kickoff time. Beginning this fall, parking lots will open no more than six hours prior to kickoff and no earlier than 6 a.m. Parking on the night prior to football games will be limited to RVs only. There are no changes in postgame policies.
“We recognize that the pregame atmosphere around Kinnick Stadium is a significant part of the fan experience,” said UI Interim President John Keller. “We are adopting policies that encourage Hawkeyes to enjoy game day traditions while reducing underage access to alcohol and the negative impacts of binge drinking.”
Data from the 2019 season indicates 92% of vehicles utilizing university controlled lots on game day enter within six hours prior to kickoff.
Iowa joins seven other Big Ten schools who currently sell beer and/or wine in public areas at its home football games. Approximately half of the schools from the Power 5 conferences will sell beer and/or wine at their home football games this fall.