University of Alabama student starts petition seeking repeal of SEC’s game day alcohol prohibition
By Erin Edgemon
February 25, 2016
A candidate for University of Alabama’s student government association president is seeking to have the SEC’s game day prohibition of alcohol sales repealed.
Patrick Fitzgerald, a junior marketing major, said his Change.org petition and promotional video isn’t about winning votes. It’s primarily about student safety.
“Too many times in my college career, I’ve walked past the tents on the quad on the way to the stadium and seen students passed out in their chairs,” Fitzgerald wrote. “Alcohol is a part of many students’ gameday experience, but because alcohol is not sold in Bryant-Denny and other athletic facilities, students feel the need to binge drink before games.”
Making alcohol sales legal, would put students in less dangerous situations, he said.
“It is an issue that a lot of people are passionate about on campus,” Fitzgerald said. He is also trying to garner support from SGA presidents of other SEC universities.
If the SEC changed its policy, Fitzgerald said it would mean less gameday arrests as well.
He said West Virginia University saw its gameday arrest rate decrease 35 percent after repealing its ban on alcohol.
Permitting alcohol sales at Bryant-Denny Stadium would be “a huge revenue booster,” Fitzgerald said. It could also drive attendance to other sporting events on campus.
Alabama’s stadium is similar in size to the University of Texas at Austin stadium where alcohol sales garnered $1.8 million in revenues last year, he said.
Many student services are in need of these revenues, Fitzgerald said.
He also pointed out that alcohol is already allowed in Bryant-Denny’s luxury boxes so why not make it available for purchase.