On June 19, House Bill 389 was signed into law allowing UNC Charlotte to sell alcohol at football, basketball, baseball and soccer facilities through a one-year pilot program.
Soon after UNC Charlotte’s Board of Trustees’ authorization, the 49ers became one of the first universities in the UNC System to incorporate the program into their 2019 sporting season.
To ensure an overall safe and friendly environment, officials stated that there will be a close watch on all sales, designated purchase locations, trained staff, limitations, and adherence to ABC laws and regulations.
The bill had the support of 14 out of 15 UNC System schools and the House voted 88-25 in approval. This took into consideration the experience of surrounding universities who have demonstrated a safe and respectful manner when selling alcohol at athletic events.
“Many of the universities reported significant decreases in alcohol-related offenses,” officials said.
NC House Majority Leader John Bell (R) and NC Senate Majority Whip Rick Gunn (R) introduced the bill for the program as a way to incorporate safety and economic progression into selling beer and wine at university athletic events.
As this bill is merged into UNC System schools, it brings North Carolina public universities in line with nearby private schools such as Wake Forest and Duke.
“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 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.”
This list includes the conditions that follow alongside the program:
1. All state regulations for the purchase of alcohol will be in effect
2. Due to state regulations regarding the sale of alcohol on state property, patrons 21 years or older will be allowed to purchase ONE beverage at a time with a valid ID
3. Patrons will be able to purchase alcohol at one of four locations on the concourse and return to their seats with their beverage.
4. All four locations will offer craft and domestic beer options, wine, seltzer, and water.
5. Upon approaching the alcohol sales locations, patrons will show their valid, government-issued ID and receive a wristband before continuing to the point of sale to make their purchase.
6. Per state law, patrons will need to present a valid ID again at the purchase point. Once a patron has a wristband, he/she can proceed directly to the purchase point.
7. Patrons will need to present a valid ID with each purchase.
8. Sales will close at the end of the third quarter.
9. Fans are encouraged to drink responsibly and to not drink and drive.
10. Charlotte will continue to host an alcohol-free tailgate for students, each game day.
In demonstrating this program, UNC Charlotte and other North Carolina universities are predicted to experience a lower amount of alcohol-related offenses, a rise in safety as well as economic revenues and overall fan satisfaction.