Nearly half the SEC will be tappin’ that… keg at football games this fall.
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), Texas A&M (HERE) and Vanderbilt (HERE) have embraced the shift in policy.
Wednesday morning, Tennessee announced that, “[i]n an effort to enhance the fan experience at home football games, UT will implement alcohol sales at Neyland Stadium” beginning this coming season. As is the case with most of the other stadiums in the conference, the sale of beer and wine will be limited to concession stands; a limit of two alcoholic beverages per transaction is in place as well.
The announcement comes nearly a month to the day after the Knoxville Beer Board approved a permit that would allow alcohol sales at Neyland Stadium.
“I appreciate everyone whose efforts have helped us develop what we believe is a comprehensive and responsible plan for alcohol sales at home football games,” athletic director Phillip Fulmer said in an experience. “The gameday experience at Neyland Stadium is historic and unrivaled, and I’m confident these new concessions options will aid our continued efforts to enhance that experience for Tennessee fans and visitors throughout the stadium.
“We remain committed to providing a safe, positive, and family-friendly atmosphere in our venues and have measures in place to assure that standard is met.”
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.
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.