The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Vanderbilt Athletics approves widespread alcohol sales at basketball, baseball games

Win or lose, there will be booze – starting this year, alcohol will be available for purchase by the general public in both Memorial Gymnasium and Hawkins Field.
Emily Gonçalves
Memorial Gymnasium photographed. (Hustler Multimedia/Emily Gonçalves)

In years past, an obsolete bylaw set the Southeastern Conference apart as the only power-five conference to prevent athletic venues from selling alcohol in general seating areas. Instead, its member institutions were forced to contain alcohol distribution within premium seating areas like Vanderbilt Baseball’s Beer Tent.

Over the summer, however, the Southeastern Conference revised its outdated policy regarding in-stadium alcohol sales. For the first time, the choice to stay dry was to be made by the school, not the conference.

Each institution is permitted to determine the permissibility of selling alcoholic beverages in athletics venues and shall establish a policy governing the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in its athletics facilities,” the conference’s website states.

Vanderbilt Athletic Director Malcolm Turner and his cohort used football as a trial run, permitting widespread sales in Vanderbilt Stadium. Now, according to the department’s press release, they’ll make the same adjustment at both Memorial Gymnasium and Hawkins Field.

“After the initial launch of alcohol sales for the 2019 football season and learning that those sales have been welcomed by our fans as a great enhancement to their overall game day experience, we’re excited to announce the addition of alcohol sales for men’s and women’s basketball and baseball,” said Malcolm Turner, the vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs.

The SEC still prohibits sales of any hard-alcoholic beverages, but there won’t be a shortage of options: the Commodores will provide a variety of domestic and imported beers, spiked seltzers and more courtesy of their licensed vendor, Spectra. In compliance with conference, state and local policies, all guests will be limited to two beverages per purchase.

According to Vanderbilt Athletics, a portion of the yielded revenue will go towards supporting on-campus alcohol prevention and education programs.


Sales will begin as soon as the gates open (two hours before the game starts). The SEC requires its member institutions to conclude sales at the following times:

  • Men’s Basketball – sales end at the 12-minute, second-half television timeout.
  • Women’s Basketball – sales end at the conclusion of the third quarter.
  • Baseball – sales end at the conclusion of the seventh inning.


In Memorial Gymnasium, fans can find alcohol at concession stands in the West Lobby, the Northeast Dance Studio Mezzanine Levels, and both the north and south second level sections.

Hawkins Field will continue providing alcohol in its premium seating section, The Home Run Lounge, and will introduce sales to the general public in concession stands by the third base concourse.

In compliance with SEC regulations, alcohol will not be dispensed from mobile vendors in seating sections – instead, it will only be provided at the designated, stationary concession stands.

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About the Contributors
Simon Gibbs
Simon Gibbs, Former Sports Editor
Simon Gibbs (‘21) is the former Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He has been on staff since the first semester of his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Senior Writer and Deputy Sports Editor. Simon is also the host of VU Sports Wired on Vanderbilt Video Productions and The Hustler Sports 30 on VandyRadio. Simon has attended several events as credentialed media, including the 2019 NFL Draft, 2019 College Baseball World Series and the 2019 SEC Tournament. Outside of his Commodore coverage, Simon has had bylines published on and When he's not writing, you can find Simon watching his hometown New York Mets, waiting for that next ring. For tips, comments or concerns, please reach out to: [email protected]    
Emily Gonçalves
Emily Gonçalves, Former Multimedia Director
Emily Gonçalves (‘20) was the Multimedia Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler. She majored in Mathematics and Economics and minored in Latin American Studies. When she’s not taking photos, you can catch this Jersey girl making puns, singing, advocating for girls’ education and drinking lots of chocolate milk and espresso!
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