Alcohol is likely coming to an SEC stadium near you. The conference announced Friday that it has lifted its ban on alcoholic beverages in general seating areas of on-campus venues, and will allow beer and wine sales starting on Aug. 1. The previous ban on alcoholic beverages had been in place for more than 30 years, with the only exception being fans in premium seating areas such as luxury boxes.
"Our policy governing alcohol sales has been a source of considerable discussion and respectful debate among our member universities in recent years," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said. "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 rule will allow schools to make their own decisions on selling alcoholic beverages, and which venues they are available at. Drinks will only be available at designated stationary locations, and won't be sold by vendors in seating areas. Service will be cutoff at the end of the third quarter of football games, the second half 12-minute television timeout in men's basketball, the end of the third quarter in women's basketball and the middle of the 7th inning in baseball. The cutoff for other sports is no later than when 75 percent of the event's regulation time has elapsed.