We’re inching closer to a time where you might be able to toast to the team’s success with your alcoholic beverage of choice while chanting ‘S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C!’ at the same time.
In an interview with Birmingham radio station WJOX this week, Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne noted that ongoing discussions to change conference policy about alcohol sales stadium-wide are still being discussed and could be on the docket for spring meetings once again in Destin this year.
“I know there are some schools pushing for basically the autonomy for you as a university to decide what you want to do rather than have it be what you do collectively as a league,” Byrne said. “Right now, it’s a league practice. You can allow alcohol in some of your premium areas but that’s about it. But I know there are some institutions that would like to say, ‘Hey, let it be our decision for what we do.’”
The SEC currently allows alcohol sales in premium seating areas like suites, as most conferences do, but is far more restrictive when it comes to general seating areas elsewhere in a school venue. Almost exactly a year ago, commissioner Greg Sankey hinted at a review of the policy and based on Byrne’s recent comments it certainly sounds like there could be some actual movement on changing things in the coming months.
While the SEC has been ahead of the curve on a number of issues in college athletics, this is one area where they are a bit behind compared to some of the peers. West Virginia has been cashing six-figure checks from beer and wine sales at games since they first started the practice back in 2011 and other schools such as Ohio State, Texas, and even Wake Forest have jumped on the trend in recent years.
The SEC may be joining that group at some point as the floodgates fully open in college football to stadium-wide alcohol sales and it might be sooner rather than later in the league based on those recent comments from a key leader in the conference.