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ABC Director Approves Alcohol Permit for NEA Sports Club at A-State Venues


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Board Director Bud Roberts today approved a large-event facility permit application submitted by the NEA Sports Club of Jonesboro for use at certain Arkansas State University venues. The permit is approved yet conditional subject to final inspection of facilities.

The ASU Board of Trustees on April 10 unanimously approved a 10-year lease agreement with NEA Sports Club that would allow the nonprofit organization to dispense alcoholic beverages to its members at certain events and facilities on campus. System President Charles L. Welch told the board that the lease plan is responsive to requests of university patrons while being cautious and responsible.

Facilities included in the ABC permit and the lease are certain areas of Centennial Bank Stadium, the Convocation Center, Tomlinson Stadium, Fowler Center, Cooper Alumni Center and the A-State Pavilion in Jonesboro.

“We are very pleased with the director’s decision and expect to have all agreements, equipment and policies in place to allow NEA Sports Club and Sodexo to begin service at the first home football game against the University of Missouri on Sept. 12,” said Jeff Hankins, ASU System vice president for strategic communications and economic development.

Operational agreements among Arkansas State, NEA Sports Club and Sodexo are being developed, Hankins said. Sodexo is the existing A-State vendor for food and beverage services and is experienced in alcohol sales operations, he added.

According to Roberts’ letter to Bill Stanley, president of the NEA Sports Club, the application has been granted conditionally and an ABC enforcement agent will do a final inspection after lighted fire exit lights are installed, remodeling is completed and the Arkansas Health Department approves the facility. All of the final steps are related to completion of the expanded press box at Centennial Bank Stadium, which will be done in August.

NEA Sports Club is an Arkansas nonprofit corporation. Net revenue generated will be distributed annually to the Red Wolves Foundation, which supports A-State athletics.

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