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Board of Trustees Approves Lease Agreement with NEA Sports Club


JONESBORO — The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today unanimously approved a lease agreement with NEA Sports Club of Jonesboro that would allow the nonprofit organization to dispense alcoholic beverages in designated areas on campus.

System President Charles L. Welch told the board that the lease agreement is required as part of NEA Sports Club’s large event facility permit application to the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

“We’re taking steps to be responsive to requests of our patrons at special events while being cautious and responsible," Welch said. "If NEA Sports Club is successful with its application, then an additional agreement will be executed regarding operations of the club at our facilities.”

Welch said Arkansas State’s change in alcohol policy is consistent with many of its peers in the state and the Sun Belt Conference.

“Our policy will actually be more restrictive than most,” Welch said. “Also, additional security will be present where alcohol is served, and all servers and managers will complete appropriate training to comply with ABC regulations and to protect the safety and enjoyment of all patrons.”

The 10-year lease includes a 90-day termination clause with or without cause, Welch said.

NEA Sports Club is an Arkansas nonprofit corporation that, subject to obtaining an ABC permit, would be allowed to dispense alcoholic beverages to its members at certain events and locations on the A-State campus. Net revenue generated will be distributed annually to the Red Wolves Foundation, which supports A-State athletics.

Facilities included in the lease are Centennial Bank Stadium, the Convocation Center, Tomlinson Stadium, Fowler Center, Cooper Alumni Center, and the A-State Pavilion.

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