The Missouri State University Board of Governors approved late Thursday (Dec. 15) an 18-month pilot program to begin the sale of beer and wine at MSU athletic events at JQH Arena and Robert W. Plaster Stadium.

Both venues currently provide alcohol sales to suite holders at all events, including athletic events. During non-MSU events, such as concerts and shows, beer and wine are currently available for purchase for all ticket holders.

All guests 21 and over will now have the opportunity to purchase beer or wine at points of sale with price points similar to those used for concerts and other sports venues in the Springfield market.

“We are strongly committed to preserving a family-friendly environment at our athletic events,” said MSU Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “This is an opportunity to enhance revenue, which controls costs, and to enhance the fan experience by providing a broader variety of options.”

Moats also noted the university has been studying the issue for more than a year before making its recommendation to the Board of Governors.

“Our contracted vendor has a wealth of experience in ensuring responsibility at all its points of sale,” Moats explained. “We would not enter into this arrangement without making sure our concessionaires are educated and compliant with their enforcement obligations and without a strong history of success in our venues with other events.”

Missouri State currently partners with Spectra (formerly Ovations) to provide its concession services at JQH Arena and Plaster Stadium. The revenue-sharing agreement with the third-party vendor has been in place since 2008 at MSU.

Moats said beer and wine sales will begin immediately at JQH Arena with the Bears and Lady Bears both hosting games on Saturday, Dec. 17.

According to the Associated Press, the number of colleges and universities selling beer at campus athletic venues has more than doubled in the last five years. In January, the NCAA announced it will begin beer and wine sales in general seating at both the College World Series in Omaha and Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, as well as the FCS Championship Game in Frisco, Texas.

The program will evaluated by the MSU administration after its first 18 months.

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