A landmark decision was made by the SEC on Friday to give programs the autonomy to decide whether or not they want to allow alcohol sales at sporting events.
That means fans at Tennessee Vols games might have the option of buying beer or wine at some point after August 1 when the new rule goes into effect.
But is it in Tennessee’s best interest to allow alcohol sales at sporting events?
Financially, it obviously makes a lot of sense. Programs will make a ton of money on alcohol sales — there’s no doubt about that. But programs, especially when it comes to football and basketball, are already making a ton of money on concessions. Is more money worth the problems that might be created by allowing alcohol sales?
Most folks who attend games are probably going to be responsible drinkers. But there are always a few who ruin the fun for everyone.
On a personal level, I’m all for alcohol sales. Enjoying a cold beer while watching a game is as American as it gets. But as a parent, I don’t want a bunch of over served idiots galavanting around my kid. It’s a balance that can be tough to achieve when serving alcohol.
The SEC has put several rules in place to try to prevent situations like this from happening, but anyone who has been to a professional sporting event knows those rules don’t always work.
The official SEC alcohol sales policy, effective Aug. 1 pic.twitter.com/shLDDp867Z
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) May 31, 2019
I think there’s a solution that allows sales, and limits (as much as possible) disruption that comes from being over served.
I think there should be dedicated entrances at UT events (several for football games, obviously) for fans who want to buy alcohol. At this entrance, they have to buy a special wrist band (cheap, maybe a dollar) that must be worn to buy alcohol. I think Tennessee should place a limit on how many drinks can be bought per wrist band. Two or three drinks per wrist band should be sufficient. Holes will be punched in the special wrist band to show how many drinks have been purchased.
Now, obviously some folks will buy drinks for other adults. I get it. Venues can’t completely shut down the possibility of a fan getting wasted at a game. It already happens now with fans who sneak liquor into games.
But it would cut down on most of these situations and keep things from (mostly) getting out of hand.
I’m all for a good time. And I’m all for UT serving beer/wine at events. But they need to be smart about it or it’s a move they could end up regretting.
Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports