WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest University will sell beer and wine stadium-wide for football games at BB&T Field and at the Joel Coliseum in 2016-17, becoming the first Division I university in North Carolina to take that step.
Athletics director Ron Wellman made the announcement today.
In the past, alcoholic beverages have been available only in select areas of Deacon Tower, Bridger Field House and Top Hat Tavern at BB&T Field and in the Windsor Jewelers Club Room at the Coliseum.
Wellman cited the success of Top Hat Tavern over the last two seasons as one of the reasons for the stadium-wide sale of beer and wine.
“Our fans have responded favorably to being able to purchase beer and wine outside of Deacon Tower,” Wellman said in a news release from the university. “We received excellent reviews on opening Top Hat Tavern. As we examined ways to increase the fan experience at BB&T Field, making these beverages more widely available was met with a favorable response from various constituencies of our program.”
Wellman and his staff consulted with other universities as well as key internal and external departments to gather feedback on best practices in serving alcohol at Wake Forest’s sports venues.
“The input we gathered over the last two years assisted us in developing our policies and a plan to make this a seamless process,” said Wellman.
Spectra Food Services, the concessionaire for BB&T Field and the Coliseum, will handle the sales. Beer and wine will be available at all permanent concession stands as well as several new portable sales points and signature concept stands. Wine will also be available at select concession points.
Several other ACC members already have beer and wine sales, and the ACC has introduced alcohol sales at its football, basketball and baseball championships in the past year. The NCAA Board of Governors amended its association-wide policy barring alcohol sales at championship events beginning with the College World Series and the Women’s College World Series in 2016.
Wake Forest will add additional security personnel and a wrist band will be required for purchases.
The Demon Deacons open the 2016 season at BB&T Field Sept. 1 against Tulane.
Wake Forest is considering adding alcohol sales at David F. Couch Ballpark for baseball and at Spry Stadium for men’s and women’s soccer.