While its premise is athletic competition – some teams take this event very seriously – it’s really all about being social. And in San Diego that means a party, and a big party. The OTL attracts tens of thousands of people who make this an afternoon or even weekend beach bash.
It’s one of the few events in California where drinking is allowed in a public area and in fact, is even somewhat encouraged as it’s part of the event’s rich history and culture. (However, any trouble makers will be quickly evicted).
Here is a guide to this event with everything you need to know about it.
2023 DATES: July 15-16 & July 22-23
BEST DAY(S) TO ATTEND: The first Saturday is the biggest and wildest, closely followed by the first Sunday. The Saturday of the second weekend is the crowning of the new beauty queen of the event with the Miss Emerson content. Note: This year’s event will be only be one weekend.
LOCATION: Fiesta Island, Mission Bay
MAP: Fiesta Island Map
PARKING & GETTING TO THE EVENT: A parking pass is required to get onto Fiesta Island. This is primarily for the teams and organizers. It’s best to take a shuttle bus provided by the OTL. There are three designated pickup spots:
• Friars Road (beneath the Morena BLVD overpass) at the Linda Vista trolley stop parking lot
You can also ride a bike and lock it up to either a gate at the main entrance or to itself along the back part of the playing area.
TIME: 7:30 a.m.-dark. Peak times are the first Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m.
COST TO ATTEND: Free
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS: They are allowed; you can bring your own. This is primarily a BYOB event. There are a couple “bars” that are put up in the area for purchase of beers. Police are on patrol to look out for underage drinkers. Fiesta Island is kind of a “dusty beach” area (not soft sand) so among your beverages it’s smart to have some water on hand.
FOOD: Yes, there are some food vendors (hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos) but it’s best to eat before going to the event.
OTL SPECTATOR RULES: No bottles, dogs, babies, bikes or, as the organizers like to point out, bad attitudes.
NOT A KID/FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT: There’s a of of open drinking, there’s a lot of sexual suggestive signage and team names, making this an event exclusively for 21-and-over adults.
• WHO PUTS ON THE OTL: The Mission Beach Athletic Club has put on this event since 1954. They contribute profits to a local charity and do a lot of charity work throughout the year in San Diego.
KEY OVER-THE LINE LINKS:
• OTL Official Site: www.ombac.org