23 Photos From The Days When The Preakness Was A Giant Frat Party

This is how one horse racing reporter described the experience of hanging out in the infield during the 2008 Preakness Stakes:

“I was in Vegas for New Year’s Eve a couple times, and until I had been to the Preakness infield, that was the craziest I’d ever seen people behave. Preakness was another level of human behaviour. I remember telling friends back here, ‘You had to see it to believe it.'”

That era is now over.

After years of debauchery in the infield, the Preakness Stakes banned outside beverages in 2009 and instituted a plan to suppress the rowdiness. This weekend’s 2014 Preakness will be much, much different than it was six years ago.

Depending on your point of view, these photos of mud, drunkness, and “toilet runs” are either deeply nostalgic or slightly terrifying.

Running across the porta pottys while people threw beer at you was the favourite pastime.

Potentially painful.

You could bring in whatever alcohol you wanted.

A fan flashes the crowd.

A drunk man is helped past a mud pit.

A guy dives face-first into the mud.

Fans relax in an inflatable pool.

Beer-throwing wasn't limited to porta potty runners.

He loves it.

Fans came with full coolers. Now you can't even bring in water.

Inflatable pools were a thing.

There were elaborate beer bongs.

Some industrial strength.

Slip 'n' Slides were utilized.

Lots of wasted beer.

Utter carnage.

Fans shotgun beers.

One case per person.

Some didn't make it to race time.

Catching some zzz's.

Gross.

Off-colour shirts, which we imagine haven't gone away.

Things have gotten much better. There was only one arrest last year.

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