Alcohol Is Not Needed At McKenzie Arena - And Response

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

To start off with I am not opposed to the consumption of adult beverages in moderation and having a designated driver available.  I attended the University of Chattanooga before and after UT arrived.  Fraternities used to bring mini-kegs to Chamberlain Field during football games and plenty of people brown bagged.  There was probably to much drinking going on.  I know I was immoderate at times, but lived in the dorm and didn't own a car.  When UT arrived there were a lot of changes including enforcement of drinking age laws.  All in all it has been a good thing.

But coming to today there is consideration to allow the sale of alcohol at sports venues.  I have been to many events at McKenize Arena and stone cold sober it is a task to walk down the steps from the entry level down to the Gold Circle or below.  Add bifocals and it becomes a life risking challenge. 

Now lets compound the danger by allowing attendees to drink.  Now you have a patron with a couple beers under their belt attempting to negotiate those steps.  You will have a liability attorney's dream.  First the person that fell will sue.  Then add those the drinker spilled their drink on or injured when someone fell on them.  The University (taxpayer) does not need the exposure to the additional risk and expense.

McKenize Arena is not somewhere that alcoholic beverages are needed.

Chris Cole (UTC '71)
Signal Mountain

* * * 

Chris,

I don’t doubt we share the same opinion on these two items: Mocs attendance and safety at games, especially with students.

However, if you think that (a certain percentage) of students (and fans in general) do not already come to the games under the influence of some substance, you are mistaken. So the idea that selling beer during a 2-2.5 hour game being any more dangerous than having drinks at Jefferson’s before walking into the game is silly.

Sadly, relatively no one shows up when they win, and no one shows up when they lose. The athletic department has to drive attendance somehow.

It’s worth trying on some trial basis, at least. 

Jordan Gregory
UTK ‘14
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