Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - We had a caller on Monday’s Talk Back show during our ‘open phones’ segment asking about the University of Montana’s policy on serving alcohol at sporting events, specifically at UM basketball games.

I reached out to UM’s Director of Strategic Communications, Dave Kuntz for the actual policies that dictate when and where alcohol can be served at sports events. The policy was initially enacted to help bring more revenue to the athletic department.

A Talk Back Caller asked about Alcohol at UM Sports Events

“Really the purpose of this was to help generate some additional revenue,” began Kuntz. “With the cost of being able to conduct a lot of these events continuing to increase, especially in the inflationary environment that we were in, it was critical for universities and those athletic departments to identify ways to incentivize additional revenue as well as the ability to attract a wider audience to the athletic events.”

Kuntz described the evolution of the alcohol policy.

UM Spokesman Dave Kuntz said the Alcohol Policy has Evolved

“This has evolved from a small kind of beer garden area where you can only have your beverage within that physical square footage, and now you're granted the ability to take that beer with you to your seats,” began Kuntz. “This is something that the university is working on with the commissioner's office and we take a look at each year of ways that we can improve it to make sure there are no issues that arise from it. Ultimately, we're just finishing up year three of these rules in place and so far to date there haven’t been any major issues that have bubbled up for the university.”

Kuntz said the university has taken many steps to keep fans safe through a responsible alcohol policy.

Kuntz said UM Takes Many Steps to Ensure Responsible Alcohol Usage

“Those notices are up,” he said. “We haven't had any issues related to those beer gardens. Obviously, especially with football with the length of the events, we always have to deal with some minor issues at the tailgates, however, those have largely been unrelated to the sales that happened inside the stadium. Certainly, we do spend a lot of time making sure that signage is up, making sure that folks understand the responsibilities with those sales.”

Kuntz said research has shown that having controlled alcohol sales at athletic events has cut down on binge drinking on game day.

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