Southeastern Conference Looks To Get Fans To The Games & Rake In Concession Dollars
Instead of scheduling tougher non-conference games, the Southeastern Conference has another way to pull fans from their comfortable couches and get them to the games: sell beer in the stadium.
The SEC now will allow beer sales at football, basketball and other games inside the stadium or arena. The reason (tho the conference doesn’t admit this) is two-fold: to encourage people to go to smaller games and also to get revenue that is being lost because so many fans are sneaking in booze.
Decreasing fan attendance is an issue at the schools, and playing the likes of Towson (as does Florida), Murray State (as does Georgia) and New Mexico State (as does Alabama) has become an issue with fans not wanting to pay $100 for tickets, plus the expense of travel as well as food and drinks.
Here is the SEC’s policy:
- Alcoholic beverages are to be sold and dispensed only at designated stationary locations
- Alcoholic beverages may not be sold by vendors within the seating areas
- Identification check is required at every point of sale to prevent sales to minors
- Alcoholic beverage sales are limited to beer and wine only (no hard liquor or mixed drinks may be sold in public seating areas)
- Limits must be established on the number of drinks purchased at one time by an individual
- Alcohol must be dispensed into cups
- Safe server training and additional training for staff to handle high risk situations is required
There are cutoffs for when schools must stop selling alcohol as followed:
- Football – end of third quarter
- Men’s basketball – second half 12-minute TV timeout
- Women’s basketball – end of third quarter
- Baseball – end of seventh inning
- Softball – end of the top of fifth inning
- Other sports not listed will stop serving alcohol when the game reaches 75 percent completion
It is important to note that schools are not required to sell beer, and it’s up to each individual institution whether or not they will allow it. One school sure to dive in is LSU, which had already created a beer garden in a “premium” area.
“Our policy governing alcohol sales has been a source of considerable discussion and respectful debate among our member universities in recent years,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in the press release.
“As a Conference, we have been observant of trends in the sale and consumption of alcohol at collegiate sporting events and have drawn upon the experiences and insights of our member schools which have responsibly established limited alcohol sales within controlled spaces and premium seating areas.
“We remain the only conference to set forth league-wide standards for the responsible management of the sale of alcoholic beverages.”
The new policy takes affect with the start of this football season.