Beer’s Near In Jackson

After four decades as a dry venue, Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson is going to tap the kegs.

The Mississippi Fair Commission voted to to allow beer sales this year at the venue, located on the Fairgrounds Complex. It’s Miller Time come Oct. 16 when the 10,000-capacity arena hosts Hank Williams Jr. with Jamey Johnson, Colt Ford, Josh Thompson and The Grascals.

“There’s never been any law against [alcohol sales],” said Bill Orr, executive director for the commission. “It’s just strictly been up to the Fair Commission. We finally did it.”

Other venues on the complex already serve alcohol. Horse and livestock shows at the Fordice Equine Center have made it available as has the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo, the biggest and most lucrative event held at the fairgrounds.

Orr said the Bocephus concert probably wouldn’t have happened if the venue was dry.

“He’s sponsored by a beer company,” Orr said. “One thing is competition and sponsorships. We have the only building of this size in the whole South that we could find that didn’t sell beer. It’ll help. I don’t know how much. Of course, it will all depend on how much beer [concertgoers] drink. It’s already helped get the concert here.”

Jackson officials are in discussion about building a new arena in the city.