Drinking Alcohol Isn’t Allowed at the 2024 Paris Olympics

A decades-old law is to blame

Paris 2024 Olympics logo is seen on the mascott in a store in Nice, France
Unless you're sitting in VIP, of course
NurPhoto via Getty Images

One of life’s greatest joys is going to a live sporting event and enjoying the game with an icy drink in hand. But for spectators attending next year’s 2024 Olympic games in Paris, that simple pleasure won’t be possible — unless they’re willing to cough up big bucks for VIP seating.

In 1991, France put Evin’s Law into effect. Not only does the decades-old law limit the marketing and advertising of tobacco and alcohol products, but it also says that alcohol can’t be sold in stadiums to the general public at sporting events. But just like with many things in life, if you have money to spend, you can be exempt from the rule.

“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,” a Paris 2024 spokesperson told Reuters. So in layman’s terms, if you’re enjoying the games from the VIP section, you can imbibe all you want. But those tickets will cost you. According to Food & Wine, entry to the Stade de France lounge during the men’s 100m Final is €4,900, or $5,350, per person.

You May Be Able to Swim in the Seine the Next Time You Visit Paris
Swimming in the river has been banned for the last 100 years

Occasionally, there are exceptions to the no-alcohol-in-stadiums rule. Event organizers can apply for an exemption from the law for 10 events per year. But because the Olympics is such a gargantuan event, it’s really not possible to apply in this instance. “Paris 2024 will be organizing more than 700 competition sessions over 15 days of competition,” the spokesperson also told Reuters. “It is not for Paris 2024 to comment on this application of different laws, but for the legislator to define the relevant framework for event organizers.”

Evin’s Law even makes it so that sporting events sponsored by alcohol brands have to be rebranded when held in France. For example, Yahoo Sports mentions that the Heineken Champions Cup rugby competition is renamed the H Cup in France.

If you do go to Paris for the games, you’ll just have to enjoy a nice glass of wine at a cafe before or after. Or, if you’ll be watching from the comfort of your own home, pour yourself a French spirit and relish in your no-rules environment.


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