Raleigh's Alcohol Amphitheatre
Special Report - May 19, 2010
Next month, the State Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission is scheduled to vote on the City of Raleigh’s request for an exemption to a state law regulating liquor advertising, so that the city can name its downtown amphitheatre after a popular beer. Current state law prohibits alcoholic beverages from being part of the name of a public venue, but the Raleigh City Council has asked the ABC Commission to allow it to sell the amphitheatre’s naming rights to Anheuser-Busch. In exchange, the beer company would help pay some of the costs of the amphitheatre, which is scheduled to open in June. According to reports, under the proposed contract between the City of Raleigh and the beer company, the name of the public facility would be the “Bud Light Amphitheatre,” and the beer company’s name/logo would be included in all advertisements, including print, television and online ads.
At its monthly meeting on May 12, the ABC Commission discussed the issue, noting concerns that “naming the Raleigh facility for an alcohol product would set a precedent in the state.” The commissioners voted unanimously to postpone a decision on the matter and invited the public to comment before they take up the issue at their next meeting in June. In a television interview with WRAL that aired on May 12, ABC Commission Chairman Jon Williams noted, “It’s never been done before in North Carolina, and we want to be very cautious about anything that might promote a pro-alcohol culture in North Carolina.”
Comments on the proposed rule change can be submitted to the ABC Commission by email to email@example.com or via the commission’s Web site here. Additionally, the City of Raleigh has a comment section on the proposal on its Web site here.
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