Florida unveils pilot program to sell alcohol at baseball, softball and lacrosse games

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The Florida athletics department is expanding into select spring sports its pilot program to sell alcohol in limited concession areas. Lacrosse, softball and baseball will offer fans the opportunity to purchase beer and wine, starting with their respective season openers.

Florida will incorporate conference-wide alcohol management expectations at each facility, 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 end of the top of 7th inning for baseball, end of the top of the 5th inning for softball and at the 15-minute mark of the second half in Lacrosse.

Centerplate, which operates concessions on behalf of the UAA in its athletic facilities, will continue to train staff in accordance with their Responsible Alcohol Service Policies and State Laws. Guests services staff will also have staff training with the TEAM Coalition (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management).

The Southeastern Conference announced a revision to its existing limitations on the availability of alcoholic beverages at athletics events at the conference’s spring meetings in Destin last May. Under this revised policy, 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 revised SEC policy on alcohol availability requires any SEC institution choosing to permit alcohol sales at athletics events to establish policies governing the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages consistent with requirements established and agreed to by the Conference membership.  In the past, SEC athletics programs have been prohibited from selling alcohol in public areas of SEC athletics venues.

Florida began serving alcohol at men’s basketball games at the season opener this year.

The UAA reminds fans that this a pilot program and will continue to evaluate plans to serve alcohol at additional events.