Sale of alcoholic beverages at University of SC sporting events approved

College Sports

COLUMBIA, SC – The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees granted approval for the sale of alcoholic beverages in athletics venues in its December 17 meeting.

The university will begin selling beer and wine at home football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball games starting January 1, 2020, school officials announced Tuesday.

Beer and wine sales will commence for home women’s basketball games on Jan. 2 vs. Kentucky and men’s basketball games on Jan. 7 vs. Florida. The first baseball game at Founders Park is Feb. 14 vs. Holy Cross.

The Southeastern Conference rescinded its ban on the sale of alcohol beverages in public areas at home athletics events in its annual meetings in May 2019. 

“Our athletics and university staff have reviewed data and best practices pertaining to alcohol sales at peer institutions around the nation and have been navigating laws unique to the state of South Carolina,” said USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner. “We want to make sure we do this right as it relates to security, customer service and the fan experience.”

After Tuesday’s vote, the university will sell beer and wine at Williams-Brice Stadium in 2020 for general seating sections while continuing to accommodate the current alcohol distribution practices within the facility. The university and athletics’ concessionaire, Aramark, have worked tirelessly with a multitude of state agencies and partners to ensure that gameday sales of beer and wine is conducted in a safe and responsible manner.  

“I appreciate the work of our state agencies in helping us get these challenges resolved in a manner that will benefit our fans,” said Tanner. “There are state laws in place that make the issue of selling alcohol in the general seating areas of Williams-Brice Stadium more complex. Through the diligent efforts of these agencies, university staff and the benefits realized from the project coming online in 2020, we are well positioned to deliver beer and wine sales and maintain a safe and fan-friendly experience.”

Per the newly established revised SEC limitations, institutions that offer alcohol sales in public areas must incorporate Conference-wide alcohol management expectations, which include:

  • 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 for these home
  • Gamecock athletics events:
  • 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)

“We take pride in providing a quality gameday experience for all fans that come through the gates at our athletics events,” added Tanner. “We are being strategic and thoughtful implementing alcohol sales at our athletic venues in an effort to benefit the overall fan experience.”

Courtesy: South Carolina Athletic Department

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