On Friday, the SEC lifted its ban on alcohol sales at stadiums of the league’s schools.
Starting Aug. 1, fans can purchase alcohol at SEC events. Prior to the ban being lifted, only select off-campus events involving SEC teams alcohol sales, such conference tournaments and bowl games.
“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 press release. “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. We remain the only conference to set forth league-wide standards for the responsible management of the sale of alcoholic beverages.”
However, the revised policy is not a requirement for SEC schools to sell alcohol at athletic events. Each school gets to decide the permissibility of alcohol sales to the general public. That means UK still has to allow these sales to take place, so it’s far from a done deal that Kroger Field and Rupp Arena will be selling alcohol this year.
Not long after the ruling came, UK president Eli Capilouto released a statement about potentially allowing alcohol sales at UK events moving forward.
“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,” said Capilouto. “Led by 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.”