News: Quick Takes

House passes bill to allow capacity crowds at college football stadiums

The N.C. House on Wednesday, April 28, in 77-42 vote approved the Kickoff College Sports Act, which would allow full capacity attendance at outdoor college stadiums.

A news release says Senate Bill 115 permits public and private universities in Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Harnett, Jackson, Mecklenburg, Orange, Pasquotank, Pitt, Robeson, Wake, and Watauga counties to operate at 100% capacity.

The legislation, introduced by House Majority Leader John Bell, R-Wayne, is a local bill and does not require the governor’s signature to become law.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s current executive order limits guests in spectator stands and viewing areas at a sporting facility, stadium, or arena to 50% of the stated fire capacity.

“The Kickoff College Sports Act will provide much-needed certainty for our schools and fans as we approach football season,” Bell says in the release. “This bill will ensure more students, parents, family members and fans can attend and support their schools while also giving the governor authority to close a stadium if needed.”

Under the bill, the release says, the governor would have the authority to close, restrict, or reduce operations of individual stadiums when necessary to protect the health and safety of athletes, staff, and attendees, but would not be authorized to order a statewide closure, restriction, or reduction in operation of these stadiums.

The legislation heads to the Senate for a concurrence vote.