Bill planned that would allow beer, wine sales in NC public university stadiums

Orange County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Football and beer usually go hand-in-hand on game days — unless you are trying to drink inside a stadium at one of North Carolina’s public universities. 

On Thursday, two state lawmakers announced plans to try and change that law.

Rep. John Bell said a new bill, to be filed next week, would allow public universities to sell beer and wine at athletic venues. 

Bell is working with state Senator Rick Gunn.

“We’ve heard from law enforcement, administrators & students & believe this is a positive step for safety & economic growth,” said Bell in a tweet.

On campus at North Carolina State Thursday, the reaction from students was mixed.

Graduate student Carter Rucker thought the bill could help cut back on hard partying before the game.

“I’m all for it. I could see it having its complications, but I think in the long run it would cut down on binge drinking,” said Rucker.

Rucker also thought the school could see a boost in revenue from beer and wine sales at concession stands.

However, N.C. State senior Madison Cobsy said tailgating is part of the gameday experience and didn’t think selling alcohol in the stadium would slow down any pre-game drinking.

“I see a lot of people after tailgates go into games and they are falling over or just very intoxicated. I feel like during game time, selling alcohol is only going to increase the amount of (people) who are falling over in the stands,” Cosby said.

In 2011 West Virginia University began selling beer during football games and no longer letting fans leave at halftime then come back into the stadium.  According to reports, that season the school saw stronger concession sales and fewer arrests on game days. 

Ohio State reported a similar trend after allowing in-stadium beer sales in 2016. 

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