Alcohol could be allowed inside Georgia-Florida game

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The already spirited crowds at a huge Jacksonville event might soon get some extra liquid encouragement.

According to several news reports, the Southeastern Conference is set to review its alcohol policy at an upcoming spring meeting.

If the policy is amended, college football fans would be able to drink in off-campus stadiums and neutral-site games.

The yearly match-up between the University of Florida and the University of Georgia that is held in Jacksonville at EverBank Field is one event that would be impacted.

The game, known as the world's largest outdoor cocktail party, draws thousands of people who spend days drinking, tailgating and celebrating all over the downtown area.

A spokesperson for the City of Jacksonville told the Florida Times-Union, the official news-gathering partner of First Coast News, that it's waiting to make a decision until after the SEC meets.n the past, there have been several deaths connected to the football festivities.

EverBank Field is owned by the city, but operated by SMG. Currently, alcohol is permitted inside other stadium events like Jaguars games.

The SEC also allows alcohol inside luxury suites and private boxes.

But, one train of thought is fans will drink less while tailgating if they know they can drink during a game.

Gator fan Jeff Ward said, "It could be good and bad as far as not getting so tore up, getting inside already drunk. Maybe rationing it somewhat. I'm sure they'll turn it off by the third or fourth quarter."

Gator fan Jason Dalziel said, "Even though for the kids it might not be so beneficial, but definitely will enhance the experience."

According to the T-U, West Virginia, Texas and Louisville all allow alcohol sales. The paper also reported that Louisville and West Virginia have seen a decrease in alcohol-related incidents.


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