RE: Public Sale of Alcohol at MUS Sporting Events

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 7, 2023

This directive provides system-wide guidance for the sale of alcohol at campus sporting events. Please ensure that your events are in compliance with these guidelines.

The Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education directs the following:

I.  Compliance with Conference Rules

Campuses that allow the sale of alcohol at sporting events must ensure compliance with the rules of your conference. For instance, NAIA has a strict no alcohol policy and prohibits the sale or presence of alcohol or tobacco at any venue where NAIA events are held. Athletic Directors, working with legal counsel, must ensure that any sale of alcohol is allowed by and adheres to the rules of your conference.

II.  System-Wide Rules for Sale

Any sale of alcohol at an MUS sporting event must comply with the following:

  • All sales must be done through a contract with a private, 3rd party vendor (“Vendor”);
  • The contract must certify that the Vendor complies with the Montana Responsible Sales and Service Act;
  • The contract must require the Vendor to provide liability coverage;
  • Beer and wine sales only;
  • Strict age verification process (ie. ID verification of spectators and bands or stamps);
  • Two beverage limits per purchase;
  • Sale may begin no earlier than 1 hour before the start of the event;
  • Sale must end:
    • Football end of the third quarter;
    • Men’s Basketball 10-minute mark of the second half;
    • Women’s Basketball end of third quarter;
    • Volleyball Beginning of third set, unless the match is tied at one set to one set. If tied sales end of the beginning of the fourth set;
    • Softball beginning of the 5th inning or if a double-header beginning of 3rd inning of the second game;
    • Soccer with 30 minutes left in the game;
    • For any other event not specified here, no later than 30 minutes before the event ends.
    • Appropriate security must be present to monitor sale and consumption;
    • Any exceptions for club seating must have prior approval from the Commissioner.

III.  Where Alcohol May be Sold and Consumed

A.  Football Games
Public sale and consumption at football games is limited to beer gardens, suites and designated club seat sections that have received prior authorization by the Commissioner. Spectators may not take or consume alcoholic beverages in the general seating sections or anywhere outside the beer garden except for those sections previously noted.

B.  All Other Sporting Events
For all other sporting events, campuses may designate areas where alcohol may be sold or consumed. No alcohol may be consumed in court-side seating. No alcohol is allowed in designated student sections and each event must have a designated “No Alcohol” section with equivalent seating options for spectators.

Clayton T. Christian
Commissioner of Higher Education

Commissioner's directives are official interpretations and guidance issued by the Commissioner of Higher Education; they remain in effect as system directives until withdrawn or revised by the Commissioner or superseded by action of the Board of Regents.