Southeastern Conference member presidents and chancellors voted today to allow sale of alcohol in general seating areas at athletic events, with the decision left up to individual schools.
The rule takes effect Aug. 1, in time for football season. At the University of Arkansas, alcohol sales were previously allowed in high-dollar private seating areas, but not in general admission sections.
UA Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek was a member of the working group that recommended the change. The SEC was the last of the major conferences to have restrictions on alcohol sales.
A variety of rules will govern sales. Only beer and wine, no hard liquor, may be sold. Sales must end well before the end of competitions (end of the third quarter in football).
This will not open the door to general advertising in arenas and stadiums of alcoholic beverages.
I’m seeking UA comment on immediate plans, if any, for Razorback events.
The rule change was announced on the Razorback athletics website, with this statement from Yurachek:
“SEC member institutions now have an opportunity to provide an amenity that is already readily available at many collegiate and professional sports events as well as other entertainment venues,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “The revised policy allows for institutions to increase game day options for fans, while also providing a framework of guidelines and educational programming regarding responsible consumption. In many cases across the nation, schools that initiated alcohol sales throughout the venue, saw declines in the number of alcohol-related incidents at their games. With the adoption of the revised policy, Razorback Athletics will work with the appropriate members of our campus community to explore the possible addition of this new amenity for future events to be held in our venues.”