VIPs can drink as much champagne as they watch the Paris Olympics, but regular fans will be limited to soft drinks and water after organizers decided not to seek an exemption to a law banning the sale of alcohol in stadiums.
The sale of alcohol to the public is banned in French stadiums under the Evon law in place since 1991, and Olympic organizers have not sought an exemption, a spokesman for the Paris 2024 Olympics told Reuters.
The law allows each city to grant waivers for up to 10 events per organizer per year.
“Paris 2024 will organize more than 700 games over 15 days,” the spokesman said.
For an event on the scale of the Olympics, such an exemption would require changes to the law.
The spokesman added: “The strict application of French law allows catering services, including the provision of alcohol, to operate in reception areas, as these services are governed by separate catering laws.”
Alcohol was also banned at the venues of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which were postponed due to the new crown epidemic, but the event ended up being held without spectators because of the epidemic. Beer and wine were served at the 2012 and 2016 London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
However, there is even better news for fans traveling to France for this year’s Rugby World Cup, as organizers have negotiated an exemption for the tournament, which will take place in September and October.