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Mitch Barnhart discusses alcohol policies at Kroger Field

“It isn’t a Mitch Barnhart decision. It is a collective decision that our institution is making.”

Georgia vs. UK Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images

Earlier this week, Kentucky fans learned that alcohol will not be sold to the general public at Kroger Field this fall, but will be sold to fans inside the luxury suites.

To follow that news up Kentucky AD, Mitch Barnhart, joined KSR Thursday morning to talk about the matter further as well as the changing landscape of college athletics. In the back and forth conversation with Matt Jones, here is what Barnhart had to say:

“The suites and the clubs are private areas, and they can make the decision. That’s a private area where they have asked for that privilege up there, that right. They’ve paid for that, and they’ve got a private area that allows them to do that. In a public area where I’ve got other families involved, and they don’t shut their door. In the public area it’s a little more difficult and the decision is a little more difficult for me and our institution.”

The SEC lifted the limited alcohol sales policy in 2019. Out of the 14 schools in the conference, Kentucky is currently one of the four schools that still limit alcohol sales in its stadiums. They are joined by Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia.

Alongside all the other changes in college athletics, understandably so, Barnhart pointed to the many COVID complications that didn’t get the subject brought up before this season.

For all the fans out there that are excited about the potential of buying a beer inside of Kroger Field one day, don’t lose hope yet.

“We have been focused on a lot of things over the last 18 months, I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s not to say never, it’s to say I’m going to spend some more time on it. I know it’s an important one, and we’ll continue to look at it. For this year, we weren’t ready this year, and I wasn’t ready. If that’s the case, then that’s where I am.”

You can listen to the full audio from the conversation below.