ETSU not allowing beer sales at 2019 football games; possibility for future seasons


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The question of whether or not alcohol will be allowed at ETSU football games this fall has been answered.

According to ETSU spokesperson Joe Smith, fans will not be able to purchase alcohol at games this season but university leaders are having conversations about allowing sales at baseball games this spring.

A new Tennessee law, passed in April, gave state-run universities the option of selling beer and wine at sporting events unless it’s prohibited by the school’s conference.

After the SEC lifted its conference ban, the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Vanderbilt announced they will be selling beer at football games for the first time.

The Southern Conference has no such ban, according to Geoff Cabe, SoCon Senior Associate Commissioner. 

That means alcohol policy decisions fall in the hands of ETSU’s Board of Trustees, according to Smith.

Smith said they’re currently having conversations with legal staff and their food service vendor.

“We have to do it the right way and that’s what we’re doing. We’re asking questions, we’re having conversations and just stepping back and determining what is the infrastructure we need to have to make this work,” Smith said.

Smith said alcohol is already allowed in private suites at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium.

He said university leaders want to see how potential spring sales go before making any decisions about stadium-wide sales at football games next fall.

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