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New Law Allows Eligible Licensees to Apply for Extended Hours for the 2018 All-Star Game and World Cup

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

On May 21, 2018 Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the 2018 All-Star Game and World Cup Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (B22-800), permitting eligible on-premises licensed retailers to register with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to extend their hours around two of this summer’s major sporting events. ABRA is now informing licensees that eligible restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels, multipurpose facilities and manufacturers can apply to sell, serve and allow for the consumption of alcoholic beverages for longer periods of time during the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2018 MLB All-Star Game.

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game will take place in the District this year for the first time in decades. Thousands of people are expected to travel to the city for the game and the events surrounding it. Under the bill, eligible on-premises retailers are able to register with ABRA to sell and serve alcohol until 4 am and operate 24 hours a day for a five day period from July 14 to 18, 2018.

Second, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association will host the 2018 World Cup Tournament in Russia in June and July. Russia contains 11 different time zones, each many hours ahead of the District, so a number of the matches will start early in the morning on the East Coast. In order to accommodate the city's diverse and international community who wish to watch the global events live, licensed establishments can apply to temporarily amend their hours. Under the bill, patrons are able to watch live soccer games as they occur overseas for the 2018 World Cup at on-premises retailers beginning at 7 am throughout the tournament. World Cup matches are scheduled to run from June 14 to July 15, 2018.

Only establishments that do not have operating hours restrictions written in their settlement agreements or Board Orders are eligible to participate in either program. Temporary license applications are also eligible under the law. An establishment's permitted hours of entertainment cannot be extended under this program and the establishment would need to obtain approval for a separate one-day substantial change application in order to extend entertainment hours.

The registration fee is $100 per program. Once a licensee is registered in the program, ABRA will provide the licensee with a separate All-Star Game or World Cup license, which must be posted in a visible location at the establishment throughout the extended hours period. ABRA will provide two free training sessions on Thursday, May 31, 2018 to guide licensees through the new program and answer any questions. Licensing specialists will be available after each session to assist with applications.

In order to participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup extended hours, a licensee must submit a registration form to ABRA by Thursday, June 7, 2018. In order to participate in the 2018 MLB All Star Game extended hours, a licensee must submit a registration form and public safety plan to ABRA by Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

Any licensee that does not want to participate in the extension of hours is not required to do so. Licensees that have questions regarding the registration process can contact ABRA’s Licensing Division by emailing or calling (202) 442-4423.

Visit ABRA's website to learn more.