Paris: In a decision that may leave average fans disappointed, organizers of the upcoming Paris Olympics have confirmed that alcohol will not be available for sale to the general public inside stadiums. However, VIPs and dignitaries will still be able to enjoy champagne and other alcoholic beverages, thanks to an exemption granted to them.
The restriction stems from Evin’s Law, a regulation implemented in France since 1991, which prohibits the sale of alcohol to the public within stadium premises. The organizers of the Paris 2024 Games have stated that they did not seek an exemption from this law, as it would have required a change in legislation for an event of this magnitude.
A spokesperson for Paris 2024 explained that the law allows for exemptions for a maximum of 10 events per organizer per year per municipality. However, with more than 700 competition sessions spread over 15 days, seeking an exemption for the Games would have been a significant endeavor.
“It is the strict application of French law that allows catering services that include the provision of alcohol to operate in hospitality areas as they are governed by a separate law on catering,” the spokesperson clarified.
This decision means that while VIPs and privileged guests will have the luxury of indulging in champagne and other alcoholic beverages, regular spectators will have to settle for soft drinks and water during the sporting events.
This is not the first time alcohol sales have been restricted at major international sporting events. The recently concluded Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also banned the sale of alcohol in stadiums. However, the Games ultimately took place without spectators. In contrast, beer and wine were available for purchase at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games