U-I Public Safety Director, Mark Bullock. (photo from Regents meeting)

The director of the University of Iowa Public Safety Department says the introduction of alcohol sales in Kinnick Stadium has led to some positive changes.

Director Mark Bullock told the Board of Regents he didn’t anticipate that happening. “I was personally, I think, like many others, not skeptical, but curious about how that was gonna turn out. And I saw a study that was done by our emergency department that actually showed what I believe is a 40% decrease in hospital admissions on game days since the sale of alcohol started,” Bullock says.

Some 70,000 people turn out on Saturdays, and he says there appears to be less drinking in the parking lots before the game.
“One of the things that you notice that I think is just an interesting indicator is the amount of trash at the entrances, at the gates, people aren’t taking alcohol with them to the gates because they can get it inside,” he says.

Bullock says that cuts some of the excessive drinking before the game. “We’re seeing less people come through the gates heavily intoxicated than we did before — and it’s making for from our perspective a better game day experience,” Bullock says.

Alcohol sales at Kinnick Stadium were first allowed in the 2021 season. A report by the U-I evaluating that first season found while alcohol-related offenses were the leading cause of arrests, there was a significant decrease in the total number of alcohol-related arrests and alcohol-related medical emergencies during football games at Kinnick. A U-I report shows net sales at Kinnick Stadium were two-point-four million dollars in the first year.