Bottoms up, bottoms up, UF might be able to fill your cup.
The Southeastern Conference decided at its spring meetings to lift its ban on alcohol sales just in time for college football. Starting Aug. 1, it will be up to universities in the SEC to decide to sell alcohol in general seating at sporting events.
Certain restrictions are still in place: beer and wine may be sold, but it can only be served in cups at concession stands. There must be a set cut-off point determining the number of drinks one person can buy and when they can buy it during events.
Some schools, such as Alabama and Auburn, have already decided, but UF isn’t moving so quickly. Steve McClain, senior associate athletics director for football, said the university hasn’t made any decisions at the moment.
“This is something we will talk with others on campus about,” McClain said.
Paul Vosilla, director of membership and external affairs for the Gator Boosters, said UF has sold alcohol in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium’s premium seating for the past three years. Because the premium areas have lobbies and security, the space is easier to keep under control. Alcohol has also been sold in the club area of the Exactech Arena during men’s basketball games.
“We've been selling it for three years in the premium area, and everything has gone well,” Vosilla said. “From what I’ve witnessed as an employee, nothing has been escalated.”
David Steinfeldt, 21-year-old UF business administration senior and vice president of the Rowdy Reptiles, said he hopes UF does start selling alcohol.
“I feel like students will be responsible with it,” Steinfeldt said. “I think it will be a win-win for both the students and the athletic department.”
When the Rowdy Reptiles drove up to Florida State University for a basketball game, Steinfeldt said a few students were happy they could buy beer during the game.
Although he thinks UF will benefit financially from selling alcohol, Steinfeldt has noticed the drinks in other stadiums are a bit pricey for the typical student’s budget.
“I feel like there’s going to be some initial excitement, but also it’s probably going to be like eight bucks for a beer,” Steinfeldt said. “I feel like they’ll be making most of their money off of just regular fans and alumni rather than just students.”