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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 16, 2004

Beer, Wine Will Be Allowed Within Kinnick Indoor Premium Seating Areas

Beer and wine sales and consumption will be allowed within the indoor premium seating and suites that will be part of the renovations to Kinnick Stadium, the home of the University of Iowa football team, UI President David Skorton announced today. Sales and consumption of hard liquor will not be allowed in those areas, and alcohol consumption will not be allowed in the premium seats that are located outdoors.

Skorton also announced that no alcohol will be served in either the UI President's or the UI Athletic Department's suites. The University of Iowa Foundation has also decided against serving alcohol in its suite, he said.

The new policy will go into effect when the Kinnick renovation project is completed, which is expected to be in time for the 2006 football season. The policy will be reviewed after the completion of the 2006 season.

"Allowing beer and wine consumption, but not hard liquor, in the new premium seating areas of Kinnick Stadium is consistent with what we allow for tailgating in University-owned parking lots on the days that football games are played," Skorton said. "It is also consistent with our alcohol policy on other areas of campus, such as the Iowa Memorial Union and Hancher Auditorium.

"Likewise, allowing beer and wine in premium seating and suites but not in the rest of the football stadium is consistent with the policies at Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and many of our peer Big Ten universities," he added.

Skorton also announced a number of restrictions suggested by a task force of UI administrators who reviewed the issue:

--Alcohol service to minors and intoxicated adults will be prohibited.

--All alcohol must be purchased on a per drink basis within the indoor premium seating area.

--Alcoholic beverages must be consumed in the indoor portion of the premium seating areas, not in the outdoor premium seats.

--Individuals will be limited to purchasing two drinks at a time.

--All alcohol sales will end after the third quarter of the football game.

"We must squarely face the fact that the University of Iowa continues to be plagued by student binge drinking rates far beyond the national average, and that students who abuse alcohol tend to abuse their fellow students and others in our community, which is both unfair and unacceptable," Skorton said. "However, our efforts to bring binge drinking under control are aimed not at prohibition, but at reducing the harmful effects of excessive and abusive drinking.

"It is also important to note that most of our football fans use alcohol responsibly," Skorton continued. "I have every expectation that people who lease suites and premium seating to help us finance the renovation of Kinnick Stadium will be responsible in their consumption and respectful of the fans around them who choose not to drink alcoholic beverages.

"Without impinging on the rights of adults to use alcohol responsibly, I have decided that no alcohol will be served in the suites controlled by the University, including the President's box and the Athletic Department's box," he added. "I'm pleased that the University of Iowa Foundation has also decided to forgo alcohol service in its own suite."

The majority of the task force members voted in favor of allowing alcohol service, including beer, wine and hard liquor in the premium seats and suites. However, they also recommended the restrictions on all alcohol sales and consumption that Skorton agreed to adopt for beer and wine.

The task force deliberations also produced two minority reports, both of which said that allowing alcohol consumption by fans in the premium seating areas, but not in other areas of the stadium, was "hypocritical." Two committee members urged that alcohol service be prohibited inside the stadium, stating that it sends "the wrong message to the citizens of Iowa, the university community, and in particular, the university's students at a time when the University is under intense scrutiny regarding alcohol abuse on campus."

The majority of the task force said that allowing sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Kinnick premium seating areas would be consistent with University policy elsewhere on campus, but insisted on the various restrictions to help insure responsible use.

A majority of the task force also recommended that the University prohibit alcohol consumption in UI parking lots after kick-off, including during post-game tailgating. Other members of the task force argued that the recommendation on post-game alcohol consumption would penalize adults who drink responsibly. They also said it would discourage all post-game tailgating, which could contribute to traffic congestion.

Skorton said that any changes in rules on post-game consumption in UI parking lots would be made later.

The texts of the task force's recommendations, the minority reports, and a UI Athletic Department response to the minority reports are available for downloading in PDF format by clicking the links below:

  • Aug. 16, 2004 memo from Phillip E. Jones, vice president for student services: 091604kinnickTFmemo.pdf
  • Proposed Guidelines for Alcoholic Beverage Service in the Premium Seating Areas of Kinnick Stadium: 091604KinnickTFrec.pdf
  • Alcoholic Beverage Service at Kinnick Stadium Minority Report to Phillip E. Jones (dated Aug. 11, 2004): 091604Karnell-Clayton-MR.pdf
  • Minority Report to V.P. Phil Jones from Charles Green: 091604Green-MR.pdf
  • Aug. 26, 2004 Response to Proposed Guidelines for Alcoholic Beverage Service in the Premium Seating Areas of Kinnick Stadium, to Doug True, vice president for finance and operations, from Bob Bowlsby, director of athletics: 091604guidelines-response.pdf

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, steven-parrott@uiowa.edu, phone 319-335-0552, cell 530-6972