Alabama Athletics halts plans for alcohol sales at Coleman Coliseum 

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

Alabama Athletics has halted plans to sell alcohol at Coleman Coliseum after the Tuscaloosa City Council proposed a service fee on all tickets for events where alcohol is served.

The city council proposed a $1 fee for events with a capacity between 1,000 and 19,999 people, which includes Coleman Coliseum. The city’s Chief Financial Officer Carly Standridge told the Tuscaloosa News the service fee is for public safety. All revenue will be spent on supporting public safety operations.

UA athletic director Greg Byrne announced the change of plans on Twitter on Monday.

“It is very unfortunate that the City of Tuscaloosa’s plan would unreasonably target Alabama Athletics and our fans with a service fee on all tickets where alcohol is sold, even tickets sold to children,” Byrne wrote.

In 2019, the Southeastern Conference lifted a ban on alcohol sales in public seating areas on campus. Other SEC schools such as Arkansas and LSU began selling alcohol at football games shortly after this ban was lifted. 

On Feb. 2, the city council approved the sale of beer, wine and hard seltzers in Coleman Coliseum. Levy Premium Foodservice — the company that handles food service for concessions in Coleman Coliseum and Bryant-Denny Stadium — just needed the state of Alabama to grant a liquor license.

The UA Athletics Department pays a 10% sales tax on all ticket sales, with 3% going to the city of Tuscaloosa. Byrne said this is an estimated revenue of $1.3 million to the city each year. 

The athletic department also pays 10% sales tax on concession revenue from all athletic events, generating approximately $125,000 annually, according to Byrne’s tweet. 

“In addition to the taxes paid directly from Alabama Athletics, fans and visiting teams also pay City lodging taxes for overnight stays and City sales taxes at restaurants, bars and stores,” Byrne wrote.