Fans in premium seating at Florida football and men’s basketball games will be able to purchase beer and wine beginning in the fall, the university announced on Wednesday.
The policy change comes amid a significant renovation of the O’Connell Center, which hosts UF basketball games and other sports, that aims to include more amenities for fans in premium seating areas. While there is a ban on general alcohol sale at SEC games, a few schools in the conference permit sales in premium seating areas, and Florida suite holders have long been able to stock alcohol in their suites.
“Providing alcohol in our premium seating areas for both football and men’s basketball was another amenity we wanted to provide to the fans in those areas,” Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement.
Florida men’s basketball played its last home game of the season on Tuesday night, and the O’Connell Center will be used on March 11 by the gymnastics team. After that, the 36-year-old arena will be closed for renovation and won’t be reopened until December 2016 — in time for basketball season.