UNC Charlotte launches pilot program selling alcohol at sporting events

Selling alcohol at UNC Charlotte games

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday for UNC Charlotte’s first football game of the season against Gardner Webb.

For the very first time, fans can buy alcohol at the games.

“Shout out to the football guys because this is supposed to be the best season thus far,” student athlete Jade Jordan said.

It’s also the first season fans can grab a drink inside of the stadium and take it to their seat.

“You come in, you get wrist-banded," Deputy Athletic Director Chris Fuller said. "You’ll get ID’d at your point of sale then you’ll get one beverage.”

They are offering craft beer for $8, domestic beer for $6 and hard seltzer for $6.

The drinks are available for purchase at four locations around the stadium.

“I think it’s good for the university to embrace that students do drink alcohol,” student Daniella Fleischer said.

Selling alcohol has been successful at other universities.

“It sort of alleviated that pressure to drink two to three beers quick before you head into the stadium, so we do hope it will alleviate binge drinking and actually be a safer environment," Fuller said.

But not all students agree.

“I think that’s wishful thinking,” student Lexie Johnston said. “Students are going to drink before, tailgating is the fun part.”

Some worry it means they’ll drink even more.

“My first game I went to, somebody threw up in the bleachers while the game was going on,” student Tayia Crews.

Other students say it could draw more people to support the team.

“They’re going to be able to tailgate all the way through the game so they’re gonna be there,” student James Carrington said.

It’s a one-year pilot program, meaning university officials will monitor fan behavior to make sure games are a good experience for everyone.

“I definitely think it’s a good idea to figure it out before you put that in place for years to come, see how it goes,” Fleischer said.

Alcohol isn’t the only change fans will notice Thursday night.

Metal detectors are also set up outside the stadium as part of the University’s added security measures.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.