March Madness is upon us again–have you filled out your bracket yet? While we don’t have any insight into who will make it to the final four, we are here to talk about the incredibly strict drinking laws that surround this NCAA basketball tournament. The most egregious of these of course being the fact that no alcohol is sold at any of these games.
What!? You might be saying to yourself, but aren’t a lot of these games happening at stadiums that normally sell alcohol. Yes, yes they are, which makes this rule all the more disheartening. This holds true through the final four and even for the championship game! Of course, if you have the funds to get a suite all bets are off.
Not only is alcohol off limits at games during March Madness, but the other types of drinks that are served during the games are restricted as well. This is because the NCAA has all kinds of sponsorship contracts with various big brands. These sponsorships even extend to what kind of cups can be shown on television during the tournament. Yes, they are that serious about it.
The intensity with which the NCAA approaches the March Madness tournament makes sense given the amount of money this tournament generates every year. The 2016 tournament generated a staggering $1.24 billion in television ads alone!
Fret naught, there is some hope on the horizon. The NCAA does serve alcohol at some of their games, just not March Madness, but that does not mean that can’t change in the future! In fact, in November 2017 the NCAA passed an extension of a pilot program they are running that offers beer and wine sales at events that traditionally would not have them.