Local News

Bud Light denied naming rights to Raleigh Amphitheater

Posted June 17, 2010

— The State Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission on Thursday denied the city of Raleigh's request to sell naming rights to a new downtown amphitheater to Anheuser-Busch.

The city had asked the ABC commission for an exemption from state liquor advertising regulations to name the venue after Bud Light. State law bans an alcoholic beverage from being part of the name of a public venue.

Raleigh, Anheuser-Busch and local distributor Harris Wholesale had drafted a proposal to name the the venue the Bud Light Amphitheater in exchange for $300,000 a year over five years. The Bud Light name would have been on a marquee over the amphitheater entrance and included in all print, radio, television and online advertising.

City officials predicted the money could cover most of the operating costs for the $2.5 million, 5,000-seat amphitheater that opened June 4. The city cited an online survey of 1,600 people in which 55 percent supported naming the amphitheater after a beer.

Advocacy groups and Raleigh's Substance Abuse Advisory Commission argued naming the amphitheater for a beer would send the wrong message to children and hurt those dealing with substance abuse problems.

City officials said they would continue to seek other naming rights opportunities for the amphitheater.

"This is a very attractive venue that has great appeal to other potential sponsors," Mayor Charles Meeker said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • tab580642 Jun 18, 2010

    This is so silly. I say they should raise taxes in Wake County & then listen to these same folk whine about that. Kids are going to experiment with alcohol regardless of whether they see an ad about it or not. The goody 2 shoes of our state will always come up with some lame reason to stall progress.

  • pss2 Jun 18, 2010

    What a crock of hockey

  • anonemoose Jun 17, 2010

    The Raleigh Cash Cow, call it the Moo.....

  • IzzMad2016 Jun 17, 2010

    "State law bans an alcoholic beverage from being part of the name of a public venue.

    Yes....really, are NC lawmakers so narrow minded, backwoodsy and behind the times that they actually believe folks seeing the name of an alcohol on a building will be driven to drink? What next? A statewide ban on television commercials? Billboards? Weekly sales flyers from grocery stores? All of these things depiect images of beer, wine, etc., so I guess that has to go next. Sheesh.

  • imtiredofit Jun 17, 2010

    Maybe this windfall from Bud Light can be saved with a bit of creative planning, how about naming the proposed Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center the "BUD LIGHTner public safety center", it would solve 2 problems- funding for the safety center and getting the BUD name on a Raleigh building.....

  • kevboom Jun 17, 2010

    And I was so looking forward to seeing shows at the BLAh.

  • Objective Scientist Jun 17, 2010

    Hmmmm... perhaps if the only way something such as a "public" amphitheater can exist without taxpayers footing the bill is to have it funded by and named after a commercial establishment, a private business is sufficient reason to question whether or not the amphitheater (or whatever) is really, truly necessary and/or needed. For something such as a "public" amphitheater the possibility exists, in fact it is almost certainty, that there will be events/occasions for which an amphitheater is an appropriate venue, but for which it is entirely INAPPROPRIATE that the event/occasion be paired with the product of the commercial establishment/private enterprise. Several previous posters have named such events. I don't think the local government "officials" thought through this matter thoroughly enough.

  • niall Jun 17, 2010

    Witness the power of this fully operational board of unelected petty bureaucrats...

  • TeresaBee Jun 17, 2010

    I would rather help foot the bill to pay for this amphitheater than to call it by a beer name. Thank you Raleigh! I am so happy!

  • colliedave Jun 17, 2010

    Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
    Martin Luther

    don't think he would drink the swill called Bud Light