Officials at East Carolina University unanimously approved alcohol sales at athletic events, which they say will proceed alongside a push to promote responsible drinking.   

After North Carolina governor Roy Cooper signed the bill that allowed alcohol sales at all public schools across the state, ECU was among many institutions that were left to decide for themselves whether the move was right for its campus.

“Once the governor signed this legislation we began conservative conversations with student affairs, our legal department, our police department and our vendor, Aramark,” athletic director Jon Gilbert said. “Athletics views this opportunity two-fold. We think that it will enhance our game day experience for those that chose to partake in that endeavor, and we also think that it will create additional revenue.”

ECU officials have had extensive meetings with both the ECU Police Department and Greenville Police Department, Pitt County ABC and North Carolina Highway Patrol about the plan to sell alcohol at athletic events. The school hopes a new operational plan will help promote safety and responsibility. 

“You will see some additional security in our zones that we have alcohol. You’ll see some additional security at the gates coming in to eliminate outside alcohol coming in,” J.J. McLamb, ECU’s senior associate athletics director and head of internal operations, told The East Carolinian. “We will also be monitoring in the stands as well, and another addition that we’ve done working with our campus IT, we are installing some new security cameras over the point of sales.” 

The school is also looking at promotions with Uber, Lyft and local taxi services that would provide a drop off/pick up zone during game days.

“Now, as part of our responsible education, we want to have that close to the stadium so they can come up and get their ride home if they (attendees) need it,” McLamb said.

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.