Preakness officials announced Thursday that fans will not be allowed to bring in beverages of any kind to the public infield at Pimlico Race Course on race day, May 16.
In the past, spectators were permitted to carry an unlimited number of coolers filled with cans of beer. The new policy forbids this practice, although the track will sell 16-ounce beers for $3.50. ...
"It's time for our public infield customers to enjoy a new way to party," Maryland Jockey Club president and CEO Tom Chuckas said. At the same old price: Tickets for the infield will remain at $50 in advance and $60 on May 16. One goal of track officials is to make the infield a more wholesome environment than in the past, when the free flow of beer often led to arguments, fights and long lines at the portable toilets.
Instead, the Preakness Stakes will feature a concert with ZZ Top, Buckcherry, and another band to be named.
Say goodbye to glorious aquatic bars like this one, they won't be around at the 2009 Preakness Stakes ... fucking bastards!
Now if you know anything about me, this comes as horrible, and I mean horrible news. This was the one day of the year where Baltimore truly shined, the one day where no care in the world seemed to matter. And as much as I like both ZZ Top and Buckcherry, I doubt they would pay $50 to go see them, a bunch of horses, and $3.50 bottles of beer.
Here's an excerpt from what I wrote a few years back about the greatest event known to horses and man:
See, the Kentucky Derby is like that Chop House dinner with the parents. The Preakness is that slice of Backroom you know is not good for you, but you just need to have. ...
I asked my friend Zac, a nine-year infield veteran and recent Michigan alum, why he poured an entire cup of beer on a random girl who was passed out on the ground at 2 p.m. His response, "A lot worse could've happened to her," pretty much summed up the day's events.
A lot worse could have happened to me at the Preakness. But it didn't. And that's why I'll be back again next year.
The sad part about all of this is that the last line may no longer be true. Part of me says boycotting this year might wise them up to just how foolish a mistake the whole non-BYOB thing is. Now that I think about it, maybe I'll just spend the next couple months in search of an open field that I won't need to pay $50 just to get into and drink.
The search has officially begun ... my new goal is to have a field party, combining my favorite elements of Preakness and the Dazed and Confused bash that made that movie so awesome.