UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees authorizes pilot program to sell alcohol at athletic facilities as House Bill 389 passes

UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees authorizes pilot program to sell alcohol at athletic facilities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - 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 in the fall of 2019, as House Bill 389 was signed into law Wednesday.

Officials at UNC Charlotte provided a statement along with this information Wednesday afternoon.

“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,” the statement read.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill into law Wednesday that authorizes boards of trustees at University of North Carolina system schools to decide whether to sell alcohol at their stadiums and athletic facilities.

The House voted 88-25 on June 19 to approve the Senate version of House Bill 389, sending the measure to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk for his signature.

Cooper signed the bill into law Wednesday after review.

UNC Charlotte officials said the Board of Trustees considered experiences at other universities who have allowed the sale of alcohol in a controlled manner at athletic facilities.

“Many of the universities reported significant decreases in alcohol-related offenses. West Virginia, Ohio State and The University of Texas all noted a significant drop in the number of incidents,” officials said.

Officials say the proposed model being considered at UNC Charlotte will be a one-year pilot program, and that fan behavior and alcohol-related incidents will be closely monitored during the pilot year to ensure that the overall safety and fan experience is not diminished.

House Bill 389 was introduced by NC House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) and NC Senate Majority Whip Rick Gunn (R-Alamance) to allow UNC System schools to sell beer and wine at athletic events.

The bill, which officials say had the support of 14 out of the 15 UNC System schools, brings North Carolina public universities in line with private schools – such as Wake Forest and Duke – that are already selling alcohol at athletic games.

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