Florida Gators to serve beer and wine at football and basketball games in 2016

By Adam Silverstein
March 2, 2016

As part of an announcement regarding the new premium seating areas set to be constructed as part of the $64.5 million renovation to the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the Florida Gators announced that beer and wine will be sold at both football and basketball games next season.

Alcohol sales will begin with the first football game of the 2016 season and be limited to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium’s premium seating areas – the Touchdown Terrace and Champions Club.

Florida basketball patrons will be able to purchase beer and wine once construction of the O’Dome is complete in Dec. 2016. Just like football, alcohol sales will be limited to the new premium seating areas – the Sideline Club and Courtside Club.

Sales will conclude at the end of the third quarter during football games and as the second half gets underway for basketball games.

The Gators made sure to note in their press release that their move to sell beer and wine – a first for athletic events on the University of Florida campus – has become more “commonplace on campuses across the country,” and they are most certainly correct in that regard.

Texas, for example, began making beer and wine available to all fans – not just those in premium seating areas – at the start of the 2015 season. Ohio State began selling alcohol in its suites and club-level seats in 2015 as well.

Of course, Florida is not making this move purely to satisfy its fans. It has been estimated by a variety of published surveys that college football stadiums can bring in an additional $1-2 million simply by serving alcohol to fans in premium seating areas.

Update: According to the University Athletic Association, the program estimates that it will bring in closer to $145,000 in additional revenue as alcohol will only be available at 25 games next season (seven football, 18 basketball) and for approximately seven percent of fans at those venues.

As UF notes in its release, it will be the sixth SEC school to sell beer and wine at football games and the fourth to do so at basketball games. Southeastern Conference policy does not allow alcohol sales to the general public, but by limiting beer and wine to the premium sections, the Gators are able to skirt this rule.


  1. cline says:

    pricing out of the average fan continues. Go Gators

  2. merkava18 says:

    The Noles scammed everyone, shame on us! When they built out the “Erector Set”, they reserved space for private property not belonging to the University and leased it to Country Clubs of America. If you’re a member of CCA you get seats and full buffet and a seat for like $125 a game or for about $30 a month, you can go drink all the Grey Goose you want and then go back into the stadium. President’s Box at UF? Coke, coffee or Ice Tea. Presidents Box at Doak? Heineken, Knob Creek, Belvedere, whatever you want. Get caught poking your finger in your coke at FF, U get tossed, and don’t get me started on the pig cops in Gainesville, especially UPD. In Tally the cops say “be careful with that drink…”

    Don’t get me wrong….I’m a 2x Die Hard Gator married to a Nole for 35 years, but hey they did it right. I hate going there. Can’t win cuz if Momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy. They win I lose; Gators win, Momma not happy. Go Gators!

  3. Dave Massey says:

    Awesome!!! We don’t have to sneak booze in anymore!!! We can buy $12 cans of beer and cups of wine. I’m so excited. Aw, never mind, I’ll still with my plastic flask and tailgating before the game. As usual, college sports has become too much of a business.

  4. Sharon Milner says:

    Great move. Financial of course. Wonderful to have drunken students getting aggressive. Guess I will not be attending any games.

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