New SEC policy could mean alcohol in Mizzou sports stadiums
SANDESTIN, FLORIDA - The Southeastern Conference announced changes to the existing alcohol policy Friday afternoon, allowing the University of Missouri to decide whether or not it will sell alcohol in its sports stadiums.
MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright and Athletic Director Jim Sterk released a joint statement after the SEC's announcement:
"We appreciate the Southeastern Conference developing a policy that provides us the authority to determine what is best for the University of Missouri regarding the sale of alcohol in public areas within our athletic venues. Our guiding principle in any decision will be maintaining the safety of our fans, student-athletes and staff while creating an atmosphere that reflects our institutional values."
The policy will go into effect on August 1, 2019.
MU has not yet made a decision about the policy. In the joint statement, the university said it is evaluating the policy changes:
"We will begin a process with the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee to discuss the potential sale and consumption of alcohol in university facilities in the near future. The IAC is a standing committee of MU that has broad representation from the campus community and includes faculty, staff, students and alumni."
Before the revision, the SEC alcohol policy prohibited athletic programs from selling alcohol in public areas of athletic venues.
The SEC approved the revisions during the Conference's 2019 Spring Meeting.
In the SEC's statement, University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, current chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors, said he is proud of the game-day atmosphere and the policy change is meant to better the game-day experience.
'"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'," Pastides said.
The amended policy still has some restrictions according to the SEC's statement:
- Alcoholic beverages are to be sold and dispensed only at designated stationary locations;
- Alcoholic beverages may not be sold by vendors within the seating areas;
- Identification check is required at every point of sale to prevent sales to minors;
- Alcoholic beverage sales are limited to beer and wine only (no hard liquor or mixed drinks may be sold in public seating areas);
- Limits must be established on the number of drinks purchased at one time by an individual;
- Alcohol must be dispensed into cups;
- Safe server training and additional training for staff to handle high risk situations is required; and
- Designated stop times for sale and/or distribution of alcohol must be enforced as follows:
- Football (end of 3rd quarter);
- Basketball (Men's—Second half 12-minute TV timeout; Women's—End of 3rd quarter);
- Baseball (end of the top of 7th inning);
- Softball (end of the top of the 5th inning); and
- Other Sports (At a designated time, no later than when 75% of the event's regulation length competition is scheduled to be completed).
Suites, clubs or private leased areas are excluded from managing these expectations.
As mentioned in the conference's statement, the conference will review this policy annually:
"Each year, the Conference membership shall review this policy to determine institutional compliance with established expectations and evaluate fan conduct and alcohol-related incidents for the purpose of determining the need to revise the Conference's alcohol policy."
MU plans to evaluate the whole policy before making a decision.