COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina's Board of Trustee has voted to approve alcohol sales at all football, basketball, and baseball games.
The proposal got unanimous approval Wednesday afternoon.
The measure goes into effect in January, meaning the basketball games at Colonial Life Arena would be the first places were the change would be noticed.
Beer and wine sales will commence for home women's basketball games on Jan. 2 vs. Kentucky and men's basketball games on Jan. 7 vs. Florida. The first baseball game at Founders Park is Feb. 14 vs. Holy Cross. It would also be at Williams-Brice Stadium for the team's first home game this fall.
"Our athletics and university staff have reviewed data and best practices pertaining to alcohol sales at peer institutions around the nation and have been navigating laws unique to the state of South Carolina," said USC Athletics Director Ray Tanner. "We want to make sure we do this right as it relates to security, customer service and the fan experience."
The topic of alcohol sales at the university was discussed prior to the start of the 2019-2020 athletic season after the SEC announced ended its ban on sales, allowing schools to make the decision.
Leaders within the athletic department at USC, including Athletic Director Ray Tanner, decided against selling alcohol at Williams-Brice Stadium at the time, but said they wanted to study the issue.
This past season, LSU was one of six teams that did sell alcohol, and generated over $2 million in sales.
Tanner said he expects revenue to vary from game to game.
"We don’t know exactly what basketball brings or what baseball and again, football, the success of your program and when you play and how the weather is," he said. "That figure is hard to get to, we’ve looked at it, we’ve calculated some, but it’s very difficult to pinpoint, we’ll have to go through a season, to get a good feel for where we are.”
As in previous years, the sale of alcoholic beverages during the 2019-2020 season will only be permitted in premium seating areas at Williams-Brice Stadium..
The university say both they and the athletics' concessionaire, Aramark, have worked to ensure that gameday sales of beer and wine is conducted in a safe and responsible manner.
Identification checks will be required for all sales. Sales will stop at the following times:
- Football (end of 3rd quarter);
- Basketball (Men's-Second half 12-minute TV timeout; Women's-End of 3rd quarter);
- Baseball (end of the top of 7th inning)
"We take pride in providing a quality gameday experience for all fans that come through the gates at our athletics events," added Tanner. "We are being strategic and thoughtful implementing alcohol sales at our athletic venues in an effort to benefit the overall fan experience."