LEXINGTON — In an effort to generate more revenue, the Southeastern Conference has revised rules regarding the sale of beer and wine at sporting events.
The league’s 14 schools were prohibited from selling alcohol in public areas at venues, but the change gives each school the option to sell alcohol at sporting events. The chancellors and presidents from the league revised the rule regarding the sale of alcohol at events during its spring meetings Friday in Destin, Florida. The new policy goes into effect on Aug. 1.
"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 in a statement. "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."
The rule includes procedures, including prohibiting sales by vendors in seating areas and a limited number of alcoholic beverages that can be purchased by the customer and times that alcohol sales must end. The sale of alcohol must be in designated areas.
"We are proud of the great game-day atmospheres the SEC and our member schools have cultivated throughout our history, and no other conference rivals the SEC in terms of our ability to offer an intense yet family-friendly atmosphere for all of our fans," said University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, current chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors. "This policy is intended to enhance the game-day experience at SEC athletics events by providing our schools the autonomy to make appropriate decisions for their respective campuses while also establishing expectations for responsible management of the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages."
The rules for institutions offering alcohol are as follows:
• 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 and designated stop times for sale and/or distribution of alcohol must be enforced as follows: football (end of 3rd quarter); basketball (men's-second half 12-minute TV timeout; women's-end of 3rd quarter); baseball (end of the top of 7th inning); softball (end of the top of the 5th inning); and other sports (at a designated time, no later than when 75 percent of the event's regulation length competition is scheduled to be completed).
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.