Alcohol Sales At Sporting Events Approved By Southeastern Conference
The Southeastern Conference has joined other Power 5 conferences by saying “cheers” to fans drinking beers during football games, as well as other athletic events on campus.
Effective with the start of the 2019 football season, SEC schools will have the option to sell beer and wine inside their stadiums and arenas at football, basketball, baseball and softball games.
Whether or not the schools actually do it it up to them, but two that are sure to take advantage of the new policy are LSU and Tennessee.
The SEC does not allow beer vendors walking through the stands, but people can buy them at general admission concession stands.
The hope is that people may will not smuggle in their booze, thereby increasing concessions revenue. The conference is also trying to keep fans going to the games – in particular the smaller ones against who-are-they opponents – rather than staying home and watching on TV where a refrigerator full of beer is only steps a way from a big chair or cozy couch.
Certainly, selling beer is a bigger selling point to fans that installing expensive big video boards and having a stadium wired for the Internet, two measures athletic departments have had in the past.
Here is the SEC’s policy, as revealed during the Spring 2019 meetings:
- 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.
“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.”
In other words, drink up so we can make some more money but not too much as to where we have a problem.