Gov. Cooper Signs Bill Allowing Alcohol Sales At College Sporting Events

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Governor Cooper signed House Bill 389 into law on Wednesday, which will allow public universities to sell alcohol during school sporting events.

UNC Charlotte released the following statement on its passage:

UNC Charlotte’s Board of Trustees recently authorized a pilot program to sell alcohol at the University’s football, baseball, basketball and soccer facilities beginning this fall (2019) pending the passage of HB 389. The University will continue ensuring our family-friendly fan experience offering controlled sales, designated concession stands, trained staff, drink limits, and will strictly adhere to ABC laws and regulations. All other details are still being considered as we examine our venues.

Additionally, officials with UNC Charlotte say the Board of Trustees considered experiences at other universities, which included West Virginia, Ohio State and The University of Texas, before making their decision.

Each of those universities have allowed the controlled sale of alcohol in their stadiums and reported significant drops in alcohol-related incidents.

UNC Charlotte says they will closely monitor fan behavior and alcohol-related incidents during the proposed one-year pilot program to ensure that the overall safety and fan experience is not diminished.

Original Post (April 16, 2019):

RALEIGH, NC — A bill that would allow North Carolina public universities to sell alcohol at athletic events is heading to the state senate after passing the NC House on Tuesday.

House Bill 389 would allow the sell of beer and wine at all UNC System school sporting events, which is already allowed at private schools within the state such as Wake Forest and Duke.

According to a news release from House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne), the bill has the support of 14 out of the 15 UNC System schools.

The bill, which was introduced by Representative Bell and NC Senate Majority Whip Rick Gunn (R-Alamance), was approved by the NC House on Tuesday and will now go to the NC Senate for consideration.

“By giving NC public universities the option to sell beer and wine at athletic events, this bill will improve safety and encourage local economic development,” said Rep. Bell. “With it already happening at private universities and within premium seating only at public schools, it simply makes sense to give all UNC System schools the choice to sell alcohol to legal-age fans – regardless if they can afford expensive seats.”

“I applaud the NC House and Leader Bell for passing this important bill and getting it one step closer to becoming law,” said Sen. Gunn. “I look forward to continuing this effort in the NC Senate to level the playing field of alcohol sales at athletic events for our public colleges and universities. This is a great economic move and a common sense measure that enhances the game day experience for college sports fans.”

Rep. Bell says statistics show that schools who allow the sale of alcohol see a dramatic drop in the number of alcohol related incidents.

According to Bell’s release, West Virginia University saw a 35% drop after introducing the sale of alcohol in 2011, and Ohio State saw a similar decline when they introduced it in 2016. Rep. Bell also noted that OSU generated $1.2 million in sales that same year.