And then there were five.
Back in May, the SEC announced that it would give its member institutions “the autonomy to determine the permissibility of selling alcoholic beverages in its athletics venues” in general seating areas. Already, Arkansas (HERE), LSU (HERE), Missouri (HERE) and Texas A&M (HERE) have embraced the shift in policy.
Wednesday morning, Vanderbilt became the fifth to open the taps as the university announced “[a]lcohol will be available for purchase by the general public at Vanderbilt Stadium” beginning with this coming football season. “A portion of revenue generated from alcohol sales will be used to support prevention and education programming on campus related to alcohol use,” the school said in a press release, adding that alcohol, including beer and wine, will only be sold at designated concession stands and will not be available for purchase in seating areas.
There will also be a limit on the number of alcoholic beverages that can be purchased during a single transaction.
“Not only will this game-day initiative enhance our fan experience, it will provide additional resources to invest in our mission of helping our student-athletes succeed on and off the field, such as through facility enhancements and in other areas,” vice-chancellor of athletics Malcolm Turner said in a statement. “We want our Commodore family to have a safe, inclusive, and welcoming experience at our games, and we will continue to monitor this new amenity closely throughout the upcoming football season.”
While close to half of the league will sell alcohol in 2019, not all conference members have embraced the change. Yet.
Georgia was the first SEC school to announce that it would not be expanding alcohol sales, at least this fall. Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky (HERE) and South Carolina (HERE) have also joined UGA in not (yet) taking advantage of the SEC’s shift in policy, while Ole Miss is leaning in that general direction as well.
Last month, the Knoxville Beer Board approved a permit that would allow alcohol sales at Neyland Stadium, although Tennessee has not yet officially announced its availability for Volunteer football games this fall.
Florida and Mississippi State are the only other SEC schools that have not publicly stated its alcohol intentions, one way or the other, for the 2019 campaign.