Following a discussion at the end of last week’s Robins Report podcast about the catering outlets not serving alcohol until the half-time whistle, we contacted Cheltenham Town Stadium Manager John Duffy to ask for clarification on the club’s policy. John provided the following explanation of the club's approach:
“In relation to bars inside the stadium, they open normally at the same time as the turnstiles (so typically 13:30 for a 15:00 kick off) and can serve up to kick off - drinks purchased up to this point can continue to be consumed out of view of the pitch after the match has kicked off for a reasonable period.
Bars reopen just before half time (normally at 40 minutes on the clock) and serve again up to the second half kicking off and once again drinks purchased up to this point can continue to be consumed out of view of the pitch after the match has restarted for a reasonable period.
We allow an exception to the above in the enclosed Sports Bar located in the Colin Farmer Stand which can continue to serve for a short period (typically 15 minutes) into the second half, providing fans remain in the bar (the open nature of the bar behind the Optimising IT Stand makes it difficult to replicate that here due to the need to redeploy staff for spectator safety roles during the game).
Allowing continuous drinking during the game increases the risk of unwanted behaviour/conduct and of fans viewing the game whilst consuming alcohol and would require additional staffing involving extra cost.
Our approach is in common with many other EFL clubs that I’m aware of, including some where I’ve worked and is I think a reasonable balance between facilities for supporters and safety/security considerations.”
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