Zach Dadson of Niagara Falls, Ont., stood flabbergasted in the hallway on the 300 level of First Niagara Center before Thursday’s Ohio State-Dayton game.
He got the basketball tickets as a Christmas present, but the 25-year-old didn’t know until he arrived there would be no alcohol sales at the tournament games at the Buffalo arena.
The NCAA does not permit alcohol sales at any of its tournament games.
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Dadson said.
Many people took the day off from work to enjoy themselves, some intent on drinking a nice alcoholic beverage.
Dadson said he didn’t understand why any organization would leave potential revenue like that on the table.
All the beer vendors were instead selling pop, water and sports drinks. Refrigerator shelves typically stocked with cans and bottles of beer were either empty or holding the non-alcoholic stuff.
A vendor on the 300 level said he was asked a lot by fans why there were no beer sales.
“I’ve had more people asking about that than have bought stuff so far,” said the vendor named Mike, who would not give his last name. He normally sells Blue, Blue Light and Bud Light and was set up at a stand at aisle 17 in the 300s.
Having no beer to buy will probably be more of an annoyance at night games than during afternoon games, said Darryl McPherson of Buffalo, who came to Thursday afternoon’s games with friend Herman Schultz of Orchard Park.
Standing on the 100 level concourse during the second half of the Syracuse-Western Michigan game, Schultz called it “insulting” for anyone to think that alcohol sales would mean everyone in attendance is going to get excessively drunk and disorderly.
“I think it’s nonsense,” Schultz said.