The next time you go to a football game in SEC country, you may be able to do so while responsibly enjoying an alcoholic beverage of choice, but only if that game is being played off campus.
According to a report by Jon Solomon on Al.com, the SEC is prepared to review the alcohol policy for any neutral site game or home game played off campus. Selling alcohol on campus appears to be off the table for now. LSU athletics director Joe Alleva seems to support the idea, saying it would “enhance the fan experience.” Concerns of fans getting a little carried away inside the stadium with the booze is always a concern, especially when a significant percentage of the fans re college students, but Alleva sees some of the benefits and believes it merits further discussion within the conference.
“I don’t think that’s something that would necessarily be a negative for drunkenness and it might curtail the drunkenness if you sold beer,” Alleva told Al.com. “Right now, they drink excessively in the parking lot before they come in because they can’t get alcohol inside. Perhaps if they had access in the stadium, they wouldn’t drink as much when they come in. I think it’s something we have to talk about. This may come down the road in the future, and I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”
The SEC has two neutral site games within the conference in 2014 with Georgia and Florida’s annual rivalry game in Jacksonville, which coincidentally has tried to step away from The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party nickname in recent years, and the Texas A&M and Arkansas game played in Cowboys Stadium. Arkansas also plays some off-campus home games in Little Rock that would qualify under the alcohol policy.
Some schools already sell beer and alcohol to those seated in the luxury boxes. Arkansas recently expressed interest in selling beer and wine in their boxes, and more and more schools appear to be showing some sort of interest in at least exploring the possibility. Minnesota is looking to extend their liquor licence to continue selling alcohol in their football stadium, and West Virginia has shown some positive results since introducing beer sales in their stadium.
If the SEC opened the sale of alcoholic beverages to more fans, the ultimate decision would still be based on a school-by-school basis.