New N.C. bill would allow beer and wine concessions in college stadiums

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It is legal to watch football and drink beer on gamedays, just not in a stadium for North Carolina public universities.

State lawmakers announced plans to change that this week.

District 10 Rep. John Bell said a new bill would allow public universities to sell beer and wine at athletic venues.

That bill is being filed Monday.

So far, 13 of the 15 UNC system schools have signed on in support of this, including East Carolina University.

Bell said the Bill would not require schools to sell alcohol at concessions, but it would give them the option of doing so.

Ultimately, it would be up to each school to decide.

He said he has heard from law enforcement, administrators, and students about this issue, arguing that it is a positive step for economic growth and safety.

“This is something I have heard a lot about over the last couple of years, and I was glad to be able to work on something we think could work not just for the university system and generate new revenue but also the gameday experience,” Bell said.

Some think it will boost the revenue of concession stands, while others think drinking should be limited to tailgating.

In 2011, West Virginia University began selling beer during games.

That season saw stronger concession sales and fewer arrests on gamedays.

Ohio State reported a similar trend in 2016.

Bell said his goal is to have the bill passed well before football season.

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