Will new alcohol law sway Duke to sell beer, wine at football and basketball games?

While its public school brethren can now consider selling beer and wine to the public at its athletic events, Duke won’t be joining them.

A new state law, passed by the General Assembly last week and signed by Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday, removed the ban on the sale of beer and wine at UNC system facilities like N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium and North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium.

As a private school, Duke didn’t need legislative approval. It already sells alcoholic drinks at Wallace Wade Stadium’s Blue Devil Tower and Cameron Indoor Stadium’s Champions Club to boosters buying those premium seats.

On men’s basketball game days, beer and wine are available to the public at Club Blue Devil, located at the Hall of Fame adjacent to Cameron Indoor Stadium, from two hours prior to tip until halftime. But any food and drink purchased there can’t be brought back into Cameron Indoor.

But Duke won’t be extending that practice to general seating areas even if NC State and UNC do at their stadiums and arenas.

“We have no plans to change our current practices at this time,” Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said in an email on Thursday.

Another ACC private school, Wake Forest, began selling alcoholic beverages at its men’s basketball and football games in 2016.

State lawmakers this month cleared the way for UNC system schools to join them by offering drinks in general seating areas. Pending approval from each school’s Board of Trustees, beer and wine could be available at football games this fall.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.