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SEC Decides Yet Again to Prohibit General-Seating Alcohol Sales

SEC Decides Yet Again to Prohibit General-Seating Alcohol Sales

After yet another push for stadium-wide alcohol sales, the SEC has decided yet again to deny alcohol in general-seating areas.

The move comes as a disappointment to many who have lobbied for a change in the SEC’s policy for years.

According to recent research, 52 of 129 of FBS schools in the nation currently allow alcohol stadium- wide, leaving some asking the SEC, what’s the hold up?

While it appears to be an issue primarily based on principal, critics say that the rule decreases the quality of a fan’s experience. For others, it simply doesn’t make sense.

Because schools can’t prohibit drinking during tailgating and other pregame celebrations, the banning of alcohol in certain parts of the stadium does little to actually curb any unwanted drunken behavior.

In fact, some believe it may make it worse, as those participating in pregame celebrations may be prone to drinking as much as they can because they know they’ll lose access once inside. Because of this, opponents of the rule argue that removing the ban would allow for a safer and more-fun experience for fans.

Some studies have shown a direct correlation to alcohol use during the game and decreased ingame incidents. One probable cause for this is that fans no longer feel the need to “over-drink” in an attempt to get a buzz to watch the game and instead acquire this feeling with game-long drinking.

Selling alcohol has its own financial benefits as well. According to reports from Saturday Down South, the initiation of alcohol sales at Ohio State has earned the school $1.35 million.

If such policies were to be implemented in the SEC, popular schools such as UGA, Auburn, and Alabama could probably expect a large spike in concession revenue.

Which again begs the question: What’s the hold up?

As Connor O’Gara notes, the reason may indeed still be about money. How many people are attracted to buying premium seating for benefit of being able to drink during the game? Would there be a loss of revenue from premium seating if the SEC were to allow stadium-wide use? Would this loss of revenue outweigh the gains from made from alcohol sales? A look into the numbers may shed light into why the SEC has been so reluctant to give up what many see as an outdated rule.

For others, at least allowing individual schools in the conference to decide whether or not to allow stadium- wide alcohol use would be a big improvement. Lessening the conference’s stranglehold on individual schools and stadiums would go a long way to easing fan concerns over the issue.

While college football has no problem selling out seats—especially for headlining games—would more students and fans be encouraged to attend “cupcake” games if alcohol were allowed? It’s an interesting hypothesis.

For many fans, drinking is an important part to the game-watching ritual. It’s as natural as pizza and hot wings.

With a growing number of schools around the nation allowing the stadiumwide use of alcohol, the SEC’s stubborn ban has left some feeling that more can be gotten from the game at home.

With immediate and convenient access to reasonably- priced food, beer, TV, and bathroom, staying at home to watch games has become an increasingly-attractive option. This is especially true for fans of the sport that prefer to watch multiple games or follow multiple teams. With the release of newer technology that allows multiple games to be watched simultaneously, and with online streaming services—even unofficial free ones—on the rise, it’s now easier than ever for fans to enjoy watching games from the comfort of their own homes.

With the SEC’s final decision already released for the year, not much can be expected to be done in the coming football season. Many see the rule as running its course, however, and believe it’s only a matter of time before it finally meets its end.

The author of this article can be reached via email at [email protected]

SEC Decides Yet Again to Prohibit General-Seating Alcohol Sales

 

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