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Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Sanford Stadium is home to the University of Georgia Bulldogs. (Photo/Rebecca Wright, http://rebeccamariewright.com/)

At the 2019 Southeastern Conference spring meeting, a decision was made to allow each university to have full authority on if they want to prohibit or allow the sale of alcohol during sporting events.

The resolution, which comes into effective on August 1, includes multiple restrictions like establishing designated sales locations, prohibiting sales by vendors throughout the stands, limiting the number of beverages per transaction, among others.

"This policy is intended to enhance the game day experience at SEC athletics events," University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, current chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors said. "[Done] 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."

The decision to eliminate the ban makes the SEC one of the last major conferences in NCAA Division I to do so. However, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said the conference is the first to put up restrictions for "responsible management" of the alcohol sales.

"As a Conference, we have been observant of trends in the sale and consumption of alcohol at collegiate sporting events," Sankey said. "We remain the only conference to set forth league-wide standards for the responsible management of the sale of alcoholic beverages."

There are mixed feelings about the new policy. Some universities haven’t hesitated to announce they won’t be allowing alcohol sales in the general seating areas such as the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Others, like the University of Georgia, will look to take time and review their current policies before making any concrete decisions.

On the other hand, Georgia will be selling beer and wine to a very small and elite group this upcoming season and it’ll come with pricey qualifications. To purchase alcohol at Sanford Stadium, one must be a member of the Magill Society.

To become a member, one must agree to donate at least $25,000 to the UGA Athletic-Association over a five-year period.

 

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