Alabama A.D. Greg Byrne comments on future possibility of alcohol in SEC stadiums
So you’re saying there’s a chance?
There’s been a pretty hard and fast stance as it relates to allowing the sales of alcohol in general seating at SEC stadiums. The conference currently has a policy that it only allows for alcohol in premium seating at venues.
As for whether or not the conference will back off its prohibited alcohol sales in general seating areas, that might have a bit of juice.
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne joined WJOX-FM on Tuesday and discussed if there’s a push being made to at least allow for the individual schools to make an alcohol-related decision.
“Well, I know there are some schools that are pushing for the autonomy for your university to decide what you want to do rather than it be on what you do collectively as a league,” Byrne said during an appearance on WJOX-FM. “I know there are some institutions that would like to be able to say, ‘Hey, let it be our decision to what we do.'”
Byrne continued on the subject.
“There have been some feedback and some studies both at West Virginia and Texas as they’ve gone to stadium-wide sales that their in-game incidents have actually gone down because the amount of binge-drinking that occurs before people come into stadiums is decreased,” Byrne said. “Obviously, that has to be an institutional decision if that time ever came for us, but I do think it’s important we look and see what is working well across the country for everything and say, ‘Maybe this is something we want to bring to Bryant-Denny or Coleman Coliseum.'”
Byrne brought up an interesting point about West Virginia and Texas. If the numbers do support reduced incidents at venues with general seating alcohol sales, that could be an easier sell to the conference.
The business opportunities are obvious, as well. Ohio State reportedly pulled in $1.1 million in alcohol sales during its first year at Ohio Stadium in 2016.
Certainly it’ll be a topic of discussion once again at the SEC spring meetings.