Better behave if you want it back: the NCAA has approved the sale of beer and wine at the Division I College World Series (Omaha) and Women’s College World Series (Oklahoma City) under a one-year pilot program.
The reasoning: studies cited by the NCAA indicate that alcohol-related incidents actually goes down at a facility that serves alcohol. Fan were less inclined to binge-drink before the event while also cutting down on attempts to sneak alcohol into the event.
Both TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, home of the College World Series, and the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, which hosts the Women’s College World Series, were selected because each venue has hosted NCAA championships for some time, and the staffs at those events are familiar with Association policies.
Alcohol sales first were permitted in club seats and premium seats at the College World Series in 2013. Both venues are equipped to sell alcohol and do so at other events. The waiver came with some restrictions: Beer and wine will be sold, but not liquor. Sales will take place at concession stands only, not by roving vendors. Sales will be limited to the final championship sites only, not regionals or super-regionals.
NCAA staff will work with law enforcement in Omaha and Oklahoma City to monitor alcohol-related incidents at both venues in order to compare this year’s statistics with prior years. That information will be provided to the board members to inform decisions on the future of alcohol sales at championship events.
“We knew they were considering it,” said Jack Diesing, president of CWS Inc. of Omaha, the local sponsoring organization for the men’s baseball championships. “We were able to show them that not only would we be willing to be a pilot, but we had the expertise to do it professionally.”…
“I think the NCAA was aware that its institutions are making alcohol sales available,” Diesing said. “They wanted to have pilots to show whether it can or can’t work.
“I don’t know if it was inevitable that they would sell alcohol, but everything is evolving, everything is changing.”
There has been beer and wine sold at the College World Series since 2013, but these sales have been limited to the club and premium seats at TD Ameritrade Park.