The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

A $5 beer at the game ? More sports teams are slashing prices on concession items !

Chiefs fans who made the trek to Atlanta for Friday’s preseason game got a couple of surprises.

First, there was Patrick Mahomes’ 69-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill. And second, the Falcons offer some of the cheapest concession-stand prices in the NFL.

The Falcons moved into Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the 2017 season and lowered food and beverage prices by 50 percent, ESPN reported. The result? Fans spent 16 percent more money.

Falcons president Rich McKay told the Washington Post that by halftime of last year’s games, the volume of concessions sales matched full-game sales from the 2016 season.

“That meant fans got in better,” McKay told the Post. “That meant security experience was better. They participated in retail. They had something to eat. The overall fan experience really improved.”

Some of the concessions prices at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: $2 for hotdogs, pretzels, popcorn, a bottle of water and regular-sized Coca-Colas. A slice of pizza or nachos cost $3. A 12-ounce Bud Light or a cheeseburger was $5.

Like any good sports trend, other teams are following suit.

The Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Hawks and the University of Texas and Mississippi State football teams have or are reducing prices on food and drinks.

On Thursday, the Rose Bowl is expected to announce cheaper prices for hotdogs, soft drinks and nachos for UCLA football games, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Mississippi State slashed prices on hotdogs, nachos and soft pretzels from $5 to $2, while the cost of a 20-ounce bottle of water was cut in half to $2.

“I believe this new comprehensive plan for concessions is a key element to increasing value for our fans,” Mississippi State president Mark E. Keenum said on the athletic department’s website. “High quality refreshments, more sensible pricing, faster service and new policies that address items of input from our fan base are a winning combination for a better game day experience.”

A better fan experience is the common theme for teams with cheaper concessions.

Starting this year, the Orioles offered small, medium and large sizes for soft drinks and beer at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. There also were small and large sizes for french fries and popcorn.

Additionally, kid-sized hotdogs and sodas ($1.50 each) are at concession stands around the stadium instead of just one site.

“The fan experience at Camden Yards is defined by our commitment to fan choice, diversity of local food offerings, and family-focused sizing and pricing,” Orioles executive vice president John Angelos said in a statement, per masnsports.com.

The Lions are reducing the cost of an adult beverage. The Detroit News reported that $5 beer will be available in specific locations. The Lions also will offer a hotdog, chips and soda combo for $10 or a hotdog, chips and a beer for $12.

A $5 beer also will be available to Atlanta Hawks fans, who will find 11 other concession items that are $4 or cheaper.

Texas dropped the price of 10 food or drinks, including sodas, water, popcorn, candy and hot dogs, at its football games.

“We’re asking fans to spend their discretionary income to support our programs and attend our events, so reducing prices on concessions, providing entertainment, making it an event, that’s all a big part of our efforts to get fans to campus and into the stadium,” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte told the Post.

“It’s all about making our campus the place to be on game day and to create the best atmosphere in the country.”

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