The eight Budweiser stations, which have been moved to “less obtrusive locations,” will still serve beer to fans, according to the New York Times (NYT), which reported on Monday that Qatar will move the beer stations away from the stadiums themselves. The report claims that “the people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss private planning details for the tournament,” and that “World Cup officials appeared to confirm the changes in a statement.”
The 29-day tournament’s official beer sponsor, Budweiser, was only made aware of the new strategy on Saturday. A World Cup organising committee official told the New York Times that “operational plans are being finalised,” adding that “this has a direct impact on the location of certain fan areas.”
Beer was not mentioned in the statement, which also noted that all eight stadiums had the same “pouring times and the number of pouring destinations.” It was reported in September that Qatar would allow ticketed soccer fans to purchase alcoholic beer at World Cup games beginning three hours before kickoff and continuing for one hour following the final whistle, but not during the game itself.
At soccer matches during the World Cup, fans can also buy alcoholic beer starting three hours before kickoff and continuing for an hour following the game’s conclusion.
As previously reported by Reuters, Budweiser will also be permitted to serve beer in a portion of the main FIFA fan zone in central Doha “from 6:30pm to 1:00am every day of the 29-day tournament.”
The NYT’s most recent report claims that despite the stations’ relocation, beer sales continue at the same times. During games and at other fan locations, Budweiser will also begin selling Budweiser Zero, its non-alcoholic beer, in the stadium concourses and stands, according to the source.