Sports Illustrated’s Ross Delenger, who is in Destin, Fla. for SEC meetings all week, is reporting that the Southeastern Conference has lifted the ban for stadium-wide alcohol sales, confirmed by commissioner Greg Sankey.
There are restrictions, though.
Schools have the autonomy now, but obviously don’t have to serve booze stadium wide, Sankey says: ”There is no expectation that anyone make alcohol available beyond clubs and suites.”
There are also some universal guidelines/restrictions laid out by the conference today as well in regards to selling alcohol within athletic venues.
Despite the good (see: super really great awesome) news, because the University of Mississippi resides in the Magnolia State, there are some hoops to jump through, as reiterated by Dellenger.
In Mississippi, gaining "resort status" is a workaround the state law to sell alcohol on campus, but State's DW Stadium currently does not have resort status.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) May 31, 2019
Ole Miss' VH Stadium does have resort status, interim AD Keith Carter says. OM will review potentially selling.
With that said, I expect Ole Miss to apply for said resort status in order to bypass the laws in the state that ban alcohol being sold in certain situations, such as at a college football game in Oxford. And as alluded to in the above tweet from Dellenger, interim athletic director Keith Carter is saying that Ole Miss will review selling booze within the confines of Jerry Hollingsworth Field.
Further, Dellenger stated he thinks if the Rebels and rival Bulldogs go in on this proposal together, the likelihood of it happening in Mississippi are greater and the resort status workaround can help both programs obtain this “advantage”.
Commissioner Sankey also said that it wasn’t exactly an “all-in-favor” type decision.
Asked if the vote was unanimous, #SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says "there were different opinions in the room." So, no.— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) May 31, 2019
Source from earlier this week thought there would be 11 'yes' votes.
Will this affect the entire conference? Who knows? But, I do know this is an enormous step in the direction of “progress” towards schools benefiting from their fans wanting to legally drink during athletic events (see: almost everyone).
In fact, some schools have already come out and said what they will do moving forward now that this legislation has been handed down. A spokesman from LSU says the school will review its policy before deciding on 2019 stadium-wide sales. Then on the flip-side, Alabama has stated that they will not be selling alcohol in 2019 and Brandon Marcello from 247Sports is reporting the same decision has been made by Auburn as well.
We also think this won’t have any affect on the current process of those in suites and premium seating areas having access to the current alcohol locker system.
Ultimately, this is a positive thing for Ole Miss and the rest of the conference. As much as folks sneak booze in right now, if they are willing to cut that out in order to purchase beer, wine, liquor, etc. inside the stadium, it will only benefit the program by funneling more money via alcohol sales that is desperately needed.
And I’m sure it’ll add to the “atmosphere” as well.
Kids these days, they’ve got it all, don’t they?