Athletic director, social media weigh in on public alcohol sales at Georgia football home games
GREENSBORO — The University of Georgia is in no rush to sell alcohol in public seating areas at Sanford Stadium, to the extent it’s not even on the table.
“That’s not even a discussion point right now,” UGA athletic director Josh Brooks said at the spring board meeting.
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“We introduced (alcohol sales) at Stegeman Coliseum, Foley Field and softball (Turner Stadium), and it has been a slow roll out.
“We’re going to be very intentional about that. That’s just not on the agenda right now for Sanford.”
The SEC lifted its ban on alcohol sales in public seating areas at the SEC Spring Meetings in 2019. At least nine league schools sell alcohol in public seating areas at their respective football stadiums, including two schools the Bulldogs will play at this season, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
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UGA allows for $100,000-plus Magill Society members to request two passes each to a 400-capacity lounge that sells alcohol. There is no view of the field from the 200 (club) level lounge, however, as it overlooks East Campus Drive.
Brooks explained there’s more to initiating alcohol sales than just rolling out the kegs, particularly with $68.5 million in Sanford Stadium south side improvements on tap over the next two years.
“There’s a lot of factors to it, whether it’s the length of the game and the time, or the logistics of just doing it and preparing for it,” Brooks said. “We started with smaller venues, to where we can crawl, walk, run. So now we’re still monitoring the progress we made at Stegeman, Foley and Turner, and we’re just now getting that data in and really analyzing, so it make take some time to continue to see how they evolve.”
Brooks said the pilot programs for basketball, baseball and softball have gone well over the past year, but UGA will take its time adding public alcohol sales to other venues.
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“We’ve been very intentional about our plan, doing it the right way, not rushing it and working with our campus partners to make sure we have safety protocols in place and we’re doing it the right way,” Brooks said.
“This is not something you want to rush into. You want to be deliberate and do it the right way, so it’s not something that we’re trying to immediately add to every single venue.”
An unscientific poll indicates fans are somewhat split on the issue, though the majority put their trust in Brooks’ decision or are against alcohol sales in Sanford Stadium.