Skip to main content

University of Alabama, City of Tuscaloosa Announce Compromise Regarding Alcohol Service Fee

After a public spat halted the progress of alcohol sales at UA athletics events earlier this year, both parties revealed that a compromise had been reached on Wednesday.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — After a public spat earlier this year between the City of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama regarding alcohol sales on campus for athletics events, both parties seem to have come to terms.

On Wednesday afternoon, a university spokesperson stated in a press release that a compromise between the two parties had been reached, opening the door for potential alcohol sales inside Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum and other event spaces on campus as soon as this fall.

Alabama announced back in February that it would begin serving alcohol in Coleman Coliseum. However, the plans came screeching to a halt due to an additional service fee on tickets put into place by the City of Tuscaloosa before the sales began.

The added service fee was a result of a resolution adopted by the city council. In total, the fee added $1 to every ticket sold at events that had a fan capacity of 1,000-20,000 people, $2 for events between 20,000 and 50,000 people and $3 for any event that saw more than 50,000 people in attendance.

The public spat between UA and Tuscaloosa reached its peak when both athletics director Greg Byrne and mayor Walt Maddox released public statements, with Byrne condemning the council's actions and Maddox expressing his favor of it. While the plans were put on hold, the Wednesday press release detailed that a compromise has been reached and plans to bring alcohol to UA athletics events are back on schedule.

According to the press release, UA will provide specialty service funding to cover the increased fire and rescue, police, transportation and infrastructure services that are needed on game days in Tuscaloosa. UA also introduced a new scholarship program intended to raise funds for scholarships for Tuscaloosa police officers and firefighters.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

The measures taken by UA were seemingly enough to replace the service fee put into place by the city council earlier this year.

“We can’t express enough how much we appreciate and value the many public safety, fire and rescue, transportation, and other staff who help keep our communities safe and running smoothly,” UA president Dr. Stuart R. Bell said in a statement. “This agreement underscores the important roles they play and how the University values their roles.”

Maddox echoed Bell's statement, saying that the school is a partner of the city in ensuring the safety of the community.

“The University of Alabama is not only our region’s largest employer and economic driver, they are partners when it comes to ensuring that Tuscaloosa is safe," Maddox said. "I sincerely appreciate Dr. Bell’s thoughtful approach over the last few months as we worked together to provide more for our City’s police officers, firefighters and paramedics.

"The incredible growth of UA is phenomenal for our community, and this agreement will ensure that we continue to offer the best and safest experiences in the nation.”

There is currently no timetable regarding when an announcement will be made regarding alcohol sales at UA athletics events.

Bryant-Denny Stadium Lights - Sweet Home Alabama
Coleman Coliseum filled to capacity
Sewell-Thomas Stadium
Rhoads Stadium