SEC lifts ban on alcohol sales

Published 11:30 am Monday, June 3, 2019

By Keith Taylor

Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON — In an effort to generate more revenue, the Southeastern Conference has revised rules regarding the sale of beer and wine at sporting events.

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The league’s 14 schools were prohibited from selling alcohol in public areas at venues, but the change allows each school whether or not 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 limit on the 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.”

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto applauded the league’s decision.

“The SEC has taken the right approach to this important issue by deferring to the individual, member institutions to make decisions about what is in the best interests of each university, their programs and their fans,” he said. “Led by (athletics) director (Mitch) Barnhart, UK will take the next several months to consider this issue. We will, as always, seek to do what is right for the university, our student-athletes, and the experience and safety of our fans.”

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at or twitter @keithtaylor21.