A proposal to name Raleigh, N.C.’s new outdoor performance venue the Bud Light Amphitheater has been shot down by the state’s liquor-control agency, the News Observer reported June 17.
Awarding the naming rights to Anheuser-Busch would have netted the city $1.5 million annually, but the N.C. Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission rejected the exception to state liquor laws that would have been required for the deal to go forward. The law explicitly prohibits public venues from being named for alcoholic beverages or brands.
The proposal sparked an outcry from health groups, students and residents, and commissioners said that approving the plan would set a bad precedent.
“This sends a strong message to Anheuser-Busch InBev and Big Alcohol entities that offering sponsorships to cash-strapped governments will be met with strong opposition from communities concerned with the public health and safety of its residents, especially youth,” said Michael Scippa, director of public affairs at the Marin Institute, an industry watchdog.