RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 389 into law on June 26, which will allow state universities to sell beer and wine at athletic venues on game day.
The bill, which had bi-partisan support, went into effect immediately. It cleared its first hurdle April 16 when the N.C. house voted 87-25 to pass the bill.
The Senate followed June 17 with a 33-12 vote. An amendment to the bill by the senate passed the house 88-25 on June 19.
Appalachian State is one of the universities affected by the bill. Appalachian State Athletic Director Doug Gillin said in a presentation to the Appalachian State Athletic Committee in June 21 that the universities’ Board of Trustees will have final approval on alcohol sales at Kidd Brewer Stadium and at the Holmes Center.
Gillin also said that a plan would have to be developed before the App State Board of Trustees would vote to approve the measure. That plan would include how to verify those who purchase the alcohol, exactly where it would be sold in Kidd Brewer and in the Holmes Center, and if there would be a cut-off time when sales would stop.
App State already serves alcohol at athletic events on a limited basis. There was a beer garden just outside Kidd Brewer in 2018 and alcohol is sold and allowed in the club level of the stadium.
Beer has been sold in the Yosef Club’s “3,333 Club” at the Holmes Center for several years.
This past spring, the athletics department experimented with selling beer in an area at Smith Stadium during ASU baseball games.
Local breweries such as Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Booneshine have their craft beers available at each of those ASU athletics events.
Gillin said at the meeting he is hopeful that any alcohol sales at the athletic venues would cut down on any binge drinking by fans who tailgate before the games begin.
“There is some data that shows that we can actually reduce incidents than increase them,” Gillin said.