The University of Idaho is asking Idaho’s State Board of Education to amend its alcohol permit policy to allow pre-game alcohol sales in the Fan Zone and tailgating in Kibbie Dome parking lots.
The board will consider a first reading of the proposal when it meets Friday at Idaho State University in Pocatello.
The university’s request to serve pre-game alcohol – as well as a similar request from Boise State University – was denied last year.
Together with BSU, UI officials are proposing the board change its policy to allow Idaho colleges and universities to designate areas – with board approval – where alcohol can be served, including UI’s president’s tent and corporate tents at the north end of the activities field.
The state board, which also serves as the board of regents for UI, also said no to alcohol during tailgating last season, but many fans still gathered in the parking lot west of the dome to hoist a beer before home games. Tuesday, the Moscow City Council unanimously approved an amendment to city code that allows open containers in parking lots near the Kibbie Dome from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on game days.
Part of the proposal being considered Friday would allow university presidents to designate specific parking lots where ticket holders could park and tailgate “with their private guests” on game day.
“What this policy change would do is to give us better guidelines on tailgating and allow us to better address behavior,” UI spokeswoman Jodi Walker said. “We want to be able to provide the best fan experience possible. By acknowledging that they like to have a beer before the game, this policy would allow us to address bad behavior and still have a great fan experience.”
Spokesman Blake Youde has said the board has the authority to prohibit open containers on campus property. But enforcement is through the UI-contracted campus division of the Moscow Police Department – which said it will be patrolling for behavior, not alcohol possession.
Walker said she had no prediction about Friday’s vote, but noted it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition: The board could approve some of the proposed changes for a second reading at October’s meeting, even if it doesn’t give its blessing to the whole measure. Either way, the changes would not see final approval until the Vandals’ last two home games, unless the board calls a special meeting.But tailgating is on, Walker said.
“We’re moving ahead with our football season under the same policies as last year,” Walker said. “There will be the tailgating area in the parking lot, and the enforcement of that will be by the Moscow police, who have been instructed by the city of Moscow to enforce for behavior.”