RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) - The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would authorize public colleges and universities to allow alcohol sales at stadiums, athletic facilities and arenas located on school property.
The bill will now move to the North Carolina Senate for consideration.
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 has the support of 14 out of the 15 UNC System schools, would bring North Carolina public universities in line with private schools – such as Wake Forest and Duke – that are already selling alcohol at athletic games.
“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 Rep. Bell.
“I applaud the NC House and Leader Bell for passing this important bill and getting it one step closer to becoming law,” said Sen. Gunn.
Rep. Bell initially tweeted about the proposed bill on March 14.
In early April, WBTV spoke with students on the UNC Charlotte campus who were split on the topic.
Some were skeptical of the idea of selling alcohol during games,as others noted that it may be hard to police underage drinking at the college sporting events.
Those in favor of serving up beer and wine at games also argued that there would be financial gain for the participating universities.
According to a press release from the North Carolina General Assembly, statistics show when schools allow the sale of alcohol the number of alcohol-related incidents dramatically drop.
After allowing alcohol sales in 2011, West Virginia University saw a 35% decrease in such incidents. The Ohio State University saw a similar decrease in 2016 – while also generating $1.2 million in sales that year.