Last week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 389, which allows beer and wine sales in college stadiums. This shift provides NC State and other in-state institutions with a valuable opportunity for additional revenue and should increase fan satisfaction. NC State should embrace beer sales and end pass-outs.
The Wolfpack faithful are known for creating a raucous environment in Carter-Finley Stadium, but far too often the crowd thins during halftime and stays that way for the remainder of the game. With the “pass-out” system, ticketholders can leave the stadium at half and return later. The system is designed to cater to tailgaters and fans who wish to drink alcohol. Head football coach Dave Doeren sees the benefits in-stadium alcohol sales present at football games for keeping fans in the stands during the second half.
“It definitely gives them the option to not leave,” Doeren said in an interview with PackPride. “If that's why they were going out in the parking lot, then they'll have that option not to. Being a 15-minute halftime, save their legs a little bit, let them relax and watch some of the halftime stuff on the TVs.”
NC State Athletic Director Boo Corrigan has kept his cards close to the chest regarding his stance on pass-outs in an interview with PackPride. Corrigan would only say his department would monitor the progress of the bill and reevaluate after it passed or failed.
“The pass-outs have nothing to do with that policy or that law and what's going to go on there,” Corrigan told PackPride. “As soon as the law gets passed, if it does get passed, we'll adjust at that time and make our decisions about what we're going to do.”
Aside from keeping fans in the stands, alcohol sales will generate additional revenue, which will help NC State’s athletics department even the odds. Of the eight ACC schools for which figures were available, the school’s athletics revenue ranked second to last as of 2017, according to USA Today. Under former AD Debbie Yow, NC State’s sports punched above their weight, flourishing across the board despite having less money backing them. With money from beer sales, University Athletics could continue to find higher and higher ceilings.
“Obviously it generates revenue for the university and for the program as well, which everybody's in favor of that,” Doeren told PackPride.
For NC State, the benefits outweigh the costs in regard to on-site beer sales at sporting events. Beer sales for general admission ticket holders should be a no-brainer, with pass-outs seeing their days come to a close.
“We have one of the best game days in the country in the first and second quarter,” Doeren told PackPride. “It'd be awesome to be able to keep it that way in the third.”