Home / Sports / The SEC votes to allow alcohol sales in the general seats and Georgia to "review" the policy

The SEC votes to allow alcohol sales in the general seats and Georgia to "review" the policy



DESTIN, Fla. – SEC presidents and chancellors voted on Friday to allow their member schools to set their own alcohol sales policies in the stadium.

"Our institutions will have autonomy in terms of alcohol availability under certain conference expectations," SEC commissioner Greg Sankey announced Friday at the SEC's spring meetings at the Hilton Sandestin.

"There is no expectation that someone will make alcohol available beyond clubs and suites."

Sankey said the vote was not unanimous and said "there were different opinions in the room."

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation on Friday that the UGA administration will review its policies and consider options before finalizing any decision on whether or how alcohol will be distributed at Sanford Stadium.

"We will take this information and discuss it internally and externally, and we will make decisions," McGarity said. "Obviously there is much more than that."

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Sankey said that the conversation about alcohol sales at the league level has been ongoing since around 2010. More wheels were set up for the change for the first such vote in the SEC when the league established a group of work to examine more closely The subject in the last year.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said the findings were revealing.

"It does not look like the places that introduced it (sale of alcohol) have caught fire, so it may not be as deadly as you once feared," Stricklin said. "The motivation you hear is that you could eliminate some other problems because you have a more controlled environment for adult beverages, instead of people getting into the parking lot."

The previous statutes of the SEC of all the league restricted the sales of alcohol to controlled private areas, like skyboxes. Beer could be sold in SEC games, but only in areas designated as premium seats.

The NCAA eliminated what had been a long-term ban on selling alcohol at last spring's championships, and more than 50 FBS-level programs currently allow the sale of alcohol in their stadiums.

There has been no indication that Georgia changes its current policy, based on comments from UGA president Jere Morehead on Thursday.

"I think we have it right at UGA," said Morehead, in his seventh year as president of the school, "so I do not see any significant change."

Morehead said Georgia is open "for review" after Friday's league vote.

But even if Georgia decided to institute a change in its stadium sales policy, it could take time to implement it.

McGarity pointed out that Sanford Stadium is currently not configured for the sale of alcohol in general, from a distribution point of view.

Stricklin said it will be a league-wide problem even for schools that decide to sell in general seating areas.

"We have many legacy stages, it's a good way to say 'old'," Stricklin said, "so it depends on the level at which you dispensed … If you pour something into a cup instead of having a draft , it will probably be necessary a little more to have the firing device installed. "

Sankey said he expects "a mix" of decisions among SEC schools on how to move forward with the decision, and there will be Be alcohol management expectations throughout the league.

"We are a conference that is moving away from decades of banning this activity, and we want to proceed with care," Sankey said.

"The hope is that it will be a positive experience in general. The fact that we are being careful and that there are different opinions indicates that there are appropriate concerns. "

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