Beer and wine will be sold in general seating through a one-year pilot program at this year’s College World Series and Women’s College World Series, the NCAA announced on Wednesday.
The decision was made last week by the Division I Board of Directors, which had to waive an existing rule prohibiting alcohol sales at NCAA championships. The ruling covers final championship sites only, according to an NCAA news release, meaning regionals and super regionals are still alcohol-free.
Only beer and wine will be sold — no liquor — and can only be purchased at the concession stands, no “roving vendors” will be permitted to sell.
Alcohol has been sold since 2013 in premium seating at TD Ameritrade Park and an “impetus” for the decision, according to the NCAA, was a report from schools that indicated when they sold alcohol at events, alcohol-related incidents declined sharply.
“Theories suggest that making alcohol available in the stadium prevents incidents of binge drinking before events and discourages people from attempting to bring outside alcohol into the venue,” the release said.
The NCAA also said it would work with law enforcement in Omaha and Oklahoma City (the site of the Women’s College World Series) to compare statistics alcohol-related incidents this year to previous years.
“That information will be provided to the board members to inform decisions on the future of alcohol sales at championship events,” the release said.