Sports

UNC-Chapel Hill will sell alcohol at home football games at Kenan Stadium this fall

Raise a glass, Tar Heel fans. UNC-Chapel Hill will start selling alcohol at football games this fall.

Fans can buy beer and wine at 20 concession stands at Kenan Stadium starting with the Sept. 7 home opener against Miami.

The decision came after “much research, consideration and consultation with University leadership,” UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham said in a letter to 2019 football ticketholders Monday.

UNC is still finalizing operational details prioritizing safety, control and training. No alcohol will be allowed in the student section, and fans can only buy one alcoholic beverage per transaction. Concession stands will start selling beer and wine 90 minutes before kickoff and stop at the beginning of the third quarter.

“We will closely monitor sales and the impact on our gameday atmosphere,” Cunningham said.

He said UNC is still considering serving alcohol at other Carolina sporting events and venues this year.

The proceeds from alcohol sales will go towards the Carolina Covenant financial aid program, the Faculty Excellence Program and an alcohol education program in coordination with the Office of Student Affairs, according to the university.

North Carolina’s public universities are deciding on whether to sell alcohol at their athletic events after the state legislature approved the sales this year.

NC State announces alcohol sales details

UNC’s announcement came the same day that N.C. State revealed how its sales will operate at Carter-Finley Stadium, The News & Observer reported. NC State approved the sales in July.

There will be between 40 and 50 “points of sale” on the concourse, according to the release from the school. The beer stations will be set up in the four corners of the stadium and will be separate from the existing concession stands.

The beer will be sold in cans and plastic bottles but not on draft. Hard seltzer will be sold, but not wine. There will be similar restrictions to UNC with one beer per person per purchase.

Cunningham mentioned the increasing prevalence of alcohol sales at college stadiums across the country over the last few years, including at NCAA championships and ACC tournaments.

“In recent seasons, many of you have expressed strong interest in having beer and wine sold at games, and the change in law allows us to move forward with this effort alongside many of our fellow state schools,” Cunningham said. “We know that there will be many different perspectives about this decision, and we believe this is another step in enhancing Carolina’s gameday experience for you.”

Here are the North Carolina schools allowing alcohol sales at athletic events:

UNC-Chapel Hill

N.C. State

East Carolina University

Appalachian State University

UNC-Wilmington

N.C. A&T University

Wake Forest

UNC-Charlotte is doing a one-year trial.

UNC-Greensboro allows alcohol sales at off-campus events but not on campus.

UNC-Asheville, N.C. Central, Western Carolina, Winston-Salem State, Elizabeth City State and Fayetteville State are still deciding.

UNC-Pembroke and Duke University are not allowing alcohol sales at sports venues.

Staff writer Joe Giglio contributed to this story.

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Kate Murphy covers higher education for The News & Observer. Previously, she covered higher education for the Cincinnati Enquirer on the investigative and enterprise team and USA Today Network. Her work has won state awards in Ohio and Kentucky and she was recently named a 2019 Education Writers Association finalist for digital storytelling.
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