Beer at Memorial Stadium? Not so fast

Beer at Memorial Stadium? Not so fast

CHAMPAIGN ­— The possibility of fans having a beer or any other type of alcohol while sitting in one of the many bleacher seats at an Illinois football game at Memorial Stadium does not appear likely to transpire during the 2014 season.

The topic was broached on Tuesday during the Big Ten meetings at the league’s offices in Rosemont, and reports by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times gave legs to the possibility Illinois would sell alcohol at games in the future.

Illinois allows alcoholic beverages only in suites and club areas at Memorial Stadium.

No alcohol is sold or served elsewhere in the stadium.

“We’ve had that discussion,” said Mike Thomas, according to reports from the Tribune and Sun-Times on comments the Illinois athletic director had about the matter. “It’s not something that’s a front-burner item for us, but every couple months the topic comes up. But when you’re talking to student groups, and you’re figuring out how you’re going to mirror the kind of opportunities they have not coming to the game, that’s usually something that comes up.”

Thomas issued a statement on Wednesday clarifying his stance.

“Despite a report (Tuesday) regarding alcohol service at Memorial Stadium, the University of Illinois is not considering the sale of alcohol in general seating areas at Illinois football games,” Thomas said. “I mentioned (Tuesday) that this issue has been a part of discussions regarding attendance, but we discuss many things that are never considered for actual use.”

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