Searching for Beer at the Tournament? Don't Waste Your Time
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - If you're going to any of the NCAA Tournament games at First Niagara Center this week, things will look a little different than they usually do.
"It definitely looks a little different in terms of, it's an NCAA building," said Ken Taylor, a Tournament Manager for the NCAA. "The really dress every inch of the building, especially inside the bowl. So you'll notice all of the normal signage is covered up and everything is NCAA. The floor looks like the floor at the seven other sites that are being played at this weekend. It'll look a little bit different but it's still the same building and still the same great atmosphere."
Around the arena Sabres logos and other signs are covered by black tarps. And there is one other noticable difference.
No alcohol sales.
NCAA rules prohibit the sale of alcohol at any championship event. From the NCAA Manual:
Availability of Alcoholic Beverages.
Alcoholic beverages shall not be sold or otherwise made available for public consumption at any championship event sponsored by or administered by the Association, nor shall any such beverages be brought to the site during the championship (during the period from the time access to the site is available to spectators until all patrons have left the facility or area used for competition)
"It's a long-standing thing that they've done," said Taylor. "It's pretty common, many college sporting events, not just NCAA championships but many campuses if you go to their games will not sell alcohol, it's just something that they feel is important to the event experience."
But that doesn't mean the arena will be completely dry. Taylor says some suites will be able to serve beer, wine and liquor. "There's some (alcohol being sold) that's existing with suite contracts but it's very limited and nothing anyone would really see."