The Preakness has always been the down and dirty leg of the Triple Crown. The infield crowd is best known for the Running of the Toilets. But last year they wanted to scale back a bit on the debauchery and they banned outside beverages. But the people spoke by not showing up as attendance dropped by about a third. So, this year they are embracing what the fans want - a chance to get belligerently drunk.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Under the new drinking policy announced Friday, patrons will be able to pay $20 for 16-ounce mugs of beer with unlimited refills. The price of admission for the infield will be $40 - $10 less than last year - and individual beers will go from $3.50 to $3. Outside food and coolers will still be allowed, but any drinks, including water, are off-limits.
It sounds like a good deal but as most people know with any "All you can drink" promotion, the lines are probably going to be ridiculously long.
In defending the ban on water, the spokesman for the Maryland Jockey Club said, ""Who's to say that water is really water? "People get creative. It's a burden for security to double-check and triple-check."
Oh, how naïve you are. People do get creative. Much more creative than putting liquor in a water bottle. Much, much, much more creative. But I'm glad to see the Preakness get back to its roots. Because it's not the Preakness unless a bunch of dudes stand in a circle watching girls wrestle in what I can only hope is mud.