University of Florida

University of Florida to sell alcohol at men’s basketball games

Kentucky Wildcats forward Karl-Anthony Towns (12) hit a jumper in front of Florida Gators forward Jon Horford (21) as the University of Kentucky played the University of Florida in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fl., Saturday, February 07, 2015. This is second half college basketball action. UK won 68-61. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff
Kentucky Wildcats forward Karl-Anthony Towns (12) hit a jumper in front of Florida Gators forward Jon Horford (21) as the University of Kentucky played the University of Florida in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fl., Saturday, February 07, 2015. This is second half college basketball action. UK won 68-61. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff Herald-Leader

The University of Florida will begin selling alcohol at men’s basketball games, the school announced Monday.

Only beer and wine will be available at select concession areas of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The pilot program will start with Tuesday’s home opener against North Florida.

The move comes just months after the Southeastern Conference amended its policy to allow the sale of alcohol at athletic events.

“Each institution in the Conference now has the autonomy to determine the permissibility of selling alcoholic beverages in its athletics venues, subject to certain Conference-wide alcohol management expectations,” the university said in a statement.

Adherent to the SEC policy, UF has enacted specific rules including the sale of alcohol only in stationary areas, the purchase of a maximum two drinks per trip, and a cutoff time at the start of the second half. Vendors won’t be able to go into the seating area to sell.

Additionally, UF will partner with concessions vendor Centerplate to ensure the arena staff gets training.

The program will last through the 2019-20 men’s basketball season and will be evaluated to see whether it should expand to other sports.

While several SEC schools allow alcohol to be sold at their football stadiums, few have expanded to include basketball games. UF will become only the sixth school in the conference to sell alcohol at basketball games.

C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.
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