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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee announced Friday that it will sell alcohol during football games at Neyland Stadium starting with the Volunteers' matchup against BYU on Sept. 7.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and it will be the second home game of the season. The Vols open against Georgia State at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.

At the 2019 Southeastern Conference spring meetings in Destin, Florida, the 14 member schools' presidents and chancellors voted to allow individual institutions the authority to "make decisions relative to the sale of beer and wine in public areas at athletic events" on their campuses, with some schools having already sold such beverages in designated premium areas at their athletic venues.

This summer, a group put together by new Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman developed "policies and infrastructure to support responsible alcohol sales in accordance with all applicable laws," according to a Tennessee release announcing the decision.

"I appreciate everyone whose efforts have helped us develop what we believe is a comprehensive and responsible plan for alcohol sales at home football games," athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in the release. "The game day experience at Neyland Stadium is historic and unrivaled, and I'm confident these new concessions options will aid our continued efforts to enhance that experience for Tennessee fans and visitors throughout the stadium.

"We remain committed to providing a safe, positive, and family-friendly atmosphere in our venues and have measures in place to assure that standard is met."

Alcohol sales will begin when the stadium gates open, which is two hours before kickoff, and will end at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Beer will be sold throughout the stadium — excluding areas near the student section — at concession stands and kiosks by trained and licensed servers. Wine will be sold in the Tennessee Terrace and East and West Clubs, with complimentary water available from large "water monster" tanks located in the concourse.

No more than two alcoholic beverages may be purchased per transaction, and each alcoholic beverage must be poured into a clear cup, per SEC policy. A valid ID is required for each purchase, and stadium personnel may ask to see ID away from vending areas in order to prove that anyone consuming alcohol is 21 or older.

On Wednesday, Vanderbilt became the fifth SEC school to announce it would make alcohol available for purchase by the general public at football games.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.

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