Education

Ready to raise a beer at Saturday’s NC State, ECU football game? What you need to know.

For the first time, N.C. State is selling beer during a football game at Carter-Finley Stadium for Saturday’s noon season opener against East Carolina.

Fans can get their hands on cold cans of “Old Tuffy” beer, N.C. State’s new collaboration with New Belgium Brewery, that’ll likely be the drink of choice. They can also enjoy the crisp, fruity flavor of Truly, a popular hard seltzer that’s made a run at the title for “unofficial beverage of summer 2019.”

Here’s what you need to know if you’re a fan of either team and you’re planning on drinking inside the football stadium.

Where and how to buy alcohol?

N.C. State will sell beer at new stations in the four corners of Carter-Finley Stadium. Fans can buy beer, hard seltzer, water and peanuts. Alcohol won’t be served at existing food and beverage concessions.

The university plans to sell beer in cans and/or plastic bottles, not on draft. They say it’s easier to transport, keep cold and serve, which makes wait times shorter.

But fans shouldn’t get drunk if they want to buy alcohol in the stadium. Vendors will not sell to anyone who looks intoxicated.

Customers can only buy one beer at a time and should be prepared to show an ID. Vendors will check IDs for anyone who looks under 30 and give them a wristband.

How much will it cost?

It won’t be cheap to drink alcohol inside the stadium, but prices are on par with other athletics concessions.

Craft: A 19.2 oz can of Old Tuffy will cost $9. Cloud Surfer, an IPA from Trophy Brewing Company, will also be $9.

Domestic: Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite will each be $8.

Seltzer: Wild Berry Truly will cost $9.

Tuff Can.jpg
New Belgium and N.C. State have partnered up to create the new beer Old Tuffy Lager, available in August in North Carolina. New Belgium Brewing

Are there any rules about where you can drink?

N.C. State has not banned beer from any specifics places in the stadium. So the student section and away fan areas are fair game.

Is it BYOB?

No. Beer or alcohol containers — such airplane bottles - are not allowed to be brought in or out of the stadium.

What time will they start selling beer?

The general stadium gates open and beer sales will begin 90 minutes before kickoff. On Saturday, that will be 10:30 a.m.

Is the ‘pass-out policy’ still in place?

Yes. N.C. State’s “pass-out” re-entry policy, which allows fans to leave the stadium at half time and then return to the game, will not be affected by beer sales.

When will they stop serving?

No alcohol will be served after the third quarter.

Is there increased security or police?

The university said officials will be added to monitor fan behavior and maintain their safety inside the stadium. But they but have not detailed the additional security or number of additions.

Why is alcohol allowed to be sold this season?

After a state law allowing alcohol sales at college athletic venues passed this summer, NC State Board of Trustees members voted to sell beer at the football stadium this season. The university finalized its policies and procedures around selling alcohol on game days on Aug. 19.

What other schools are now selling alcohol?

Several other universities around North Carolina will have beer on tap at their football games this season.

UNC-Chapel Hill will serve beer and wine starting at the home opener on Sept. 7. ECU fans can buy beer and wine when they return to Greenville for the home opener on Sept. 7, too.

Appalachian State University, N.C. A&T University, UNC-Charlotte have also approved alcohol sales at their football stadiums.

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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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