Massive news in the world of college sports this afternoon.
According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, the SEC has officially lifted its ban on stadium-wide alcohol sales, with its effective start date being August 1.
News: The #SEC has lifted the ban on stadium-wide alcohol sales, with restrictions, source says. Effective date is Aug. 1.
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— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) May 31, 2019
While there will be restrictions, the decades-old bylaw prohibiting SEC schools from selling alcohol in general seating areas at athletic venues is no more. The general guidelines limit sales exclusively to beer and wine. Vendors will be restricted from selling alcohol inside the stands.
Last season, Arizona, Oregon, Boston College, Oklahoma State, and Colorado allowed alcohol sales in both general seating and premium areas, while Illinois, Rutgers, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech will be doing the same this fall. Over 55 Football Bowl Subdivision programs also serve alcohol throughout their respective stadiums.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated last weekend, “many” of those schools and venues made the change due to the opportunity for “an additional revenue stream, fewer reported binge drinking incidents and an enhanced game-day experience that boosts attendance.”
With the SEC’s attendance average of 73,994 being the lowest since 2002 and nearly 5,000 below the conference average in 2015, there were several rumors that this was a strong possibility during the league’s annual spring meetings in Destin, Florida this week.
Now, it’s official, as the SEC will now give member schools permission to sell alcohol to all fans at games. Each school can make its own decision on whether they want to do so.
Ready or not, alcohol is likely coming to Kroger Field, Rupp Arena, Kentucky Proud Park, and the rest of the SEC athletic facilities starting in August.