Florida will sell alcohol at men’s basketball games, effective immediately

By Michael Phillips
November 4, 2019
Florida will sell alcohol at men’s basketball games, effective immediately
Basketball

Image Credit: ESPNI

If you are headed to see No. 6 Florida Gators men’s basketball in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center this season, you will notice some new beverages available at select concession stands. The program announced Monday that alcohol will now be sold in a pilot program at the O’Dome, starting with Tuesday’s tip-off game against North Florida. 

With the season-opening game comes a pilot program in general admission seating as Florida is dipping its toe in the use of the Southeastern Conference’s new policy clearing the way for alcohol sales at league sporting events. Alcohol was previously only available in premium seating areas.

When that announcement first came earlier this year, the Gators were one of six schools in the conference that decided not to change their alcohol policy for general admission tickets at football games this fall. Instead, they decided to wait and see how it affected the other schools before making a move. Now, it looks like they are taking a more gradual approach by starting with a smaller crowd indoors.

Beer, wine and High Noon seltzer will be available behind sections 1, 11, 13, 19 and 123, according to a chart released by the program.

Florida will incorporate conference-wide alcohol management expectations, which include:

  • Alcoholic beverages will be sold and dispensed only at designated stationary locations;
  • Alcoholic beverages will not be sold by vendors within the seating areas;
  • Identification check will be required at every point of sale to prevent sales to minors;
  • Alcoholic beverage sales are limited to beer and wine only
  • Fans, with valid legal IDs, will be permitted to only buy a maximum of two drinks at a time
  • Alcohol must be dispensed into cups;
  • Safe server training and additional training for staff to handle high risk situations is required; and
  • Sales and distribution of alcohol will stop at the start of the second half.

If alcohol sales prove to be successful at men’s basketball games, it is possible we could see the UAA announce a similar plan for football games ahead of the 2020 season. Alcohol will not be available at other events in the O’Dome

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