North Carolina is moving closer to allowing beer and wine sales at college games under a bill that advanced in a committee Thursday.
The full Senate is expected to vote on the measure Monday night, said state Sen. Rick Gunn (R-Guilford/Alamance).
“I wouldn’t even have been interested in it if I thought that in any way it was going to cause any adverse effects,” he said.
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Under this measure, the trustees of each public college and university would have the choice of whether to authorize sales. Gunn said if the bill passes, schools could move forward with this during the upcoming school year. Sales of mixed drinks would not be allowed.
“The universities have committed that they will follow the letter of the law, which ABC has pretty strict guidelines. They will offer the right training. A lot of them will be using third-party vendors, who are experienced,” said Gunn.
It’s been a growing trend across the country as more colleges and universities have authorized alcohol sales, saying it gives them more control over consumption on game days.
On Thursday, Texas A&M said it will allow beer and wine sales at football games this fall after the SEC adopted new guidelines. Middle Tennessee State University also announced it’ll have a beer garden available at football games this fall as well.
Most schools within the UNC system have expressed support for the bill.
“I think it’ll make it a lot more fun,” said James Britt, a student at North Carolina State. “I’m confident in the fact that people will just drink responsibly.”
Other fans are concerned.
“It can also cause rowdiness. I already know the pre-games and the tailgates, people get pretty drunk. So, adding more alcohol to the situation might not help much,” said Troy Luddy, a senior at N.C. State.
Before Indiana University authorized alcohol sales at home football games earlier this year, the school worked with a consulting firm to study the impact of sales at other schools, according to the Associated Press. A consulting firm, Wasserman, found that Ohio State and West Virginia saw decreases in game day alcohol-related incidents after offering sales in stadiums, the AP reported.