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Volume 26 No. 109
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North Carolina Will Sell Alcohol At Kenan Stadium Starting This Season

The Univ. of North Carolina will "start selling alcohol at football games" beginning with the home opener against Miami on Sept. 7, according to Kate Murphy of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER. Fans will be able to "buy beer and wine at 20 concessions stands at Kenan Stadium." UNC AD Bubba Cunningham said that the school is "still considering serving alcohol" at other sporting events and venues this year. UNC's announcement coincided with N.C. State revealing how its alcohol sales "will operate at Carter-Finley Stadium" this season. N.C. State will have "between 40 and 50 'points of sale'" on the stadium's concourse. 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" at UNC with "one beer per person per purchase" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/20). No alcohol at Kenan Stadium will be "permitted in the student section and impact on the game-day atmosphere will be 'closely monitored'" (FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER, 8/20). Beer and wine sales at Kenan Stadium will "begin 90 minutes before kickoff and end at the beginning of the third quarter." Proceeds generated by the alcohol sales will go to UNC to "benefit the Carolina Covenant, the Faculty Excellence Program and an alcohol education program in coordination with the Office of Student Affairs" (INSIDECAROLINA.com, 8/19).

ACC SCHOOLS WITH GENERAL ALCOHOL SALES
Boston College
Yes
North Carolina
Yes
Clemson
No
North Carolina State
Yes
Duke
No
Pitt*
Yes
Florida State
Yes
Syracuse
Yes
Georgia Tech
No
Virginia
N/A
Louisville
Yes
Virginia Tech
N/A
Miami*
Yes
Wake Forest
Yes
NOTE: * = Off-campus stadium
Download the
ACC Alcohol Sales Chart

ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE: In Illinois, Julie Wurth noted the Univ. of Illinois will begin selling beer this season, but "whether that will reverse a two-year slide in football attendance remains to be seen, with season ticket sales down slightly from last year at this point." Illinois Associate AD/Ticketing, Sales & Customer Service Jason Heggemeyer said beer sales have been "received positively," but were designed to improve fan enjoyment at games, not to be a "decider" on whether people come to the games. He added about 22,000 season tickets "have been sold so far" this season, down about 1,000 from last year. Wurth noted last season's six games at Memorial Stadium "drew an average of 36,151 fans, the fewest" since '62. A winning team "would obviously be the biggest driver of ticket sales," but the school is "exploring other ways to lure fans and improve the 'game-day experience.'" Illinois Associate AD/Marketing, Fan Development & Strategic Communication Cassie Arner said that beer will be sold this season at "separate kiosks in the east and west main halls" of Memorial Stadium. Senior Associate AD/External Relations Marty Kauffman said that he expects beer sales will "prompt more people who have tickets to use them, rather than just tailgating outside" (Champaign NEWS-GAZETTE, 8/19).

A NEW AGE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Brian Costa wrote between in-stadium sales and sponsorships, colleges and alcohol companies increasingly are "becoming allies in trying to maintain interest in two products whose popularity is falling: football tickets and beer." For many SEC schools, alcohol is "not widely sold" at athletics events. But when the conference "most rooted in socially conservative, football-crazed areas feels compelled to liberalize its drinking policy, it represents a clear shift in the prevailing thinking among administrators." Texas A&M AD Ross Bjork said, "The evolution we're in now is all about the fan experience -- safe atmospheres but providing something for everyone. The alcohol piece provides that something for everyone." In addition to expanding stadium alcohol sales, the Univ. of Arkansas recently "signed a sponsorship deal" with A-B InBev worth about $400,000 per year (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/17).