Today, in the Georgia Way

Seth Emerson has a piece up at The Athletic ($$) about beer sales at SEC venues in which he cites yours truly, but that’s not what I want to highlight here.

The SEC is, as I’m sure you’re aware, unique among the P5 conferences in that stadium beer sales are prohibited by conference rule.  In other words, even if an individual school wanted to permit beer sales, it can’t.  It’s also pretty well established that one of the more fervent backers of the status quo is Georgia.

Seth had the temerity to ask questions about the school’s stance.  He got crickets.

The Athletic sent three questions to Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity, his spokesman and school spokesman Greg Trevor: 1) Is a report by Sports Illustrated, that Georgia is pushing hard behind the scenes to keep the SEC prohibition, true? 2) If so, what are UGA’s main concerns about selling alcohol in the stadium, in general in the SEC and specifically at Georgia home games? 3) What is the response to criticism from some UGA fans that UGA allows alcohol to be served in suites and boxes and that it’s unfair to keep it from being sold to the general public?

McGarity did not respond. An athletics department spokesman said the alcohol policy was “not on any agenda, proposals, etc., at this time.”

Trevor, the school spokesman, responded with a two-sentence statement: “The university follows the SEC’s rules. We have nothing to add.”

I think you misspelled “sets”, Trevor, my man.  Even so, there’s nothing more Georgia Way than standing firmly behind a policy you can’t or won’t defend publicly.

Oh, and look who else has signed on.

A request was made to speak to Jimmy Williamson, UGA’s outgoing chief of police, or anyone in law enforcement. The request was not granted.

Man, when you’ve Georgia Way-ed Jimmy Williamson…


Filed under Georgia Football, I'll Drink To That

29 responses to “Today, in the Georgia Way

  1. Brandon

    I don’t think this is a situation where they CAN’T defend the current status quo. I think this is a situation where they are choosing not to strategically so as not to breath life into the issue by providing fodder for further headlines on the controversy. I’m not saying it’s the right strategy here or the wrong strategy here but it’s a school of thought in the field of public relations that this is how you handle some issues. A notable dissenter from this strategy is actually Donald Trump, he pretty much responds to everything with both barrels, but before he came along a lot of pols took this approach with things they didn’t want to talk about.


  2. AusDawg85

    I wonder how the SEC exception reads to permit alcohol sales in the private suites and how the University’s license reads for those sales and presumably other catered functions on campus?


    • 79Dawg

      I imagine they have a catering permit from the Department of Revenue and the City. Nothing stopping anyone from going down to the Alcohol License Department and asking for a copy or doing an Open Records Act request…


  3. I don’t care if they do or don’t sell alcohol in Sanford. I’m not participating because I know the prices will be astronomical for what they serve and the lines will be awful.

    If the other 13 members wanted alcohol sales outside of luxury seating, it wouldn’t matter about Georgia’s opposition … there would be alcohol flowing in stadiums across the Southeast.


  4. Bright Idea

    The SEC is already bringing in loads of money so maybe they aren’t worried about serving the unwashed masses overpriced suds.


  5. The Georgia Way

    Rest assured, our Magill Society membership can continue to enjoy the wide array of beverages served in our Sky Suites.



  6. Mayor

    I respectfully disagree with your premise here Senator. This is not a Georgia Way issue. The Georgia Way places its team on the field at a disadvantage just to prove some asinine point. Like mandatory game suspensions for using marijuana then drug testing the first day after spring break. Like not using all the available scholarships so you can dangle them in front of the walk-ons. Things like that. Not selling beer at the games is just an effort to keep the fans from killing each other.


    • Not selling beer at the games is just an effort to keep the fans from killing each other.

      Where, pray tell, does that happen?

      Anyway, it’s not the beer policy per se that’s the subject matter. It’s the fact that UGA can’t even bring itself to publicly defend a stance it pushes hard on the conference.


      • JCDAWG83

        Does Georgia have some outsized influence or veto power over the conference I’m not aware of? It seems to me if the majority of schools voted/decided to approve alcohol sales in stadiums, there would be nothing Georgia can do about it.

        If the conference approved it I don’t think they would/could mandate alcohol sales in stadiums. Georgia would be free to continue not selling alcohol in the stadium if it so desired.


        • That’s correct. I do think the conference wants to have unanimous approval on votes on issues like this. It almost seems like a de facto veto system that any institution can use. The closest it seems the conference got to a majority rules decision was the proposal to eliminate the permanent crossover opponent after the latest expansion.


      • ChiliDawg

        I mean, we’re talking about legalizing alcohol in stadiums, not carrying a gun..



  7. Saltwater Dawg

    I think there are a numerous, valid reasons for the administration being against alcohol sales in the stadium, or at least reticence to jump on board..

    (1) Liability – overserving / alcohol-related incidents

    Games against conference rivals in particular can already get heated between fans, and there is usually plenty of drinking prior to kickoff. Sock flasks aside, having served the alcohol that could be concluded was a contributing factor to an incident-related injury in the stadium would have some attorneys salivating.

    (2) Liability – serving underage.

    Take the same cheap help that is working concessions now, and add in the responsibility of checking ID’s. I believe penalties are city/county-based in GA, and not sure of Clark County, but I believe the norm is that the operator and the employee both have liability.

    (3) Operating Costs & Effort

    While the net return would most likely be positive, there will be additional costs to handle the supply chain and sales. As someone posted above, injecting this into the current concession staff would not be very successful.

    (4) Capital Costs

    Enhancements would be necessary throughout the stadium to be able to store and secure the inventory, and additional concession areas will be needed to handle the added demand.

    Also Senator, as much bitching as I hear on this blog about the bathroom situation on game days, imagine the additional volume of beer-soaked piss being added to the bourbon-flavored coke piss that is already straining the stadium facilities.

    And imagine trying to get stadium renovations that don’t impact recruiting approved.


    • This might be more meaningful if (1) people weren’t already drinking before games and (2) booze wasn’t already available in the upscale areas of Sanford Stadium.

      Also, if these items are as insurmountable as you suggest, then why are so many other schools embracing beer sales? Are you suggesting that Georgia isn’t capable of competently managing this?


      • Saltwater Dawg

        Not at all saying that they are insurmountable. Other schools and/or conferences have already proven they are not.

        But jumping in half-assed would probably not improve the game day experience, and there may be higher priorities at the moment. Fighting against this may be a small hedge against being forced to do it sooner. LIke the legalized gambling, it seems this will happen at some point.

        The upscale areas of the stadium have their own restrooms and their own staff, and the revenue generated more than makes up for it.


      • HiAltDawg

        I am!


    • Debby Balcer

      All they have to do to make sure you are of age is to have a separate place you are carded and put an arm band on people who are old enough and want to buy booze.


  8. Go Dawgs!

    “… Jimmy Wiliamson, UGA’s outgoing chief of police…”

    Assuming that they aren’t describing his extroverted personality, I’m going to call that sentence a great way to start my week.


  9. DawgByte

    The answer to question #2 is: “Duh, what a dumb question!”


  10. Mad Mike

    All y’all are way off base as to why they don’t wannna change. They’re against it simply because they know Sanford’s plumbing system couldn’t handle the extra trips to the bathroom a few brews necessitates.


  11. PTC DAWG

    So 8 votes would get this passed? Obviously UGA is not the only dissenter. I don’t see any issue here.

    UGA will sell beer etc when the conference allows it, I’m fairly sure of it.


  12. College football stadiums are still great places to take young kids to a game. ( unlike most pro venues) There’s enough alcohol in the stadium on game day already…folks can tailgate before and after the game…I hope most all can go 3-4 hours without a beer…….


    • Otto

      I enjoy a beer and as a person who likes that the craft industry has turned my habit into a hobby has a collected a nice inventory of various styles.

      However, pro stadiums have taken away from the experience largely due to the drunks. The UNC kick off game, as well as other bowl games and SECCG had negative experiences thanks to drunk. The WLOCP is the only game I will put up with the down sides.


  13. PTC DAWG

    A kid is going to have to very sheltered to grow up and never see a grown person drinking a BEER….

    “for the children” for the win.


  14. I started at UGA at about the time that Ronald Reagan and Chuck Knapp took most of the fun out of being an 18-20 year old in Athens. For us the result was a hockey-stick uptick in binge drinking.

    For those 21 and over, beer sales in Sanford might spoil the excitement of taking a half-dozen shots before kickoff.


  15. ATL Dawg

    UGA doesn’t want to deal with concessions and restrooms at Sanford Stadium as it is. It’s no wonder they don’t want to start serving alcohol.