The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

Barnstormers drop prices of some concessions after fan feedback !

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The price of beer at Clipper Magazine Stadium isn’t decreasing, but if you buy nachos, hot dogs and ice cream with that beverage, you will spend less.

The price reductions — and some other changes at the ballpark — follow a July survey of about 1,000 fans by the Lancaster Barnstormers.

The reductions took effect with Tuesday night’s game.

“This is the community’s ballpark. Having the fans energized and feeling their feedback is (acted on) is important to us,” team president Lisa Riggs said.

Kristen Simon, the team’s general manager, said the Barnstormers decided to lower prices and make other changes now instead of next season because, well, they could.

“A lot of the changes people are calling for are things we can work on with our partners, Legends Hospitality Management, immediately,” she said.

And — hint, hint — there are 18 regular season home games left, and the possibility of playoffs, Riggs said.

The team has done surveys before and made minor tweaks based on them, but this is the first time it’s shared results so broadly, Riggs said. It emailed a letter about about the survey and changes to fans, and the survey is on its website.

Another change is new equipment to manage and equalize sound in response to criticism that the sound system can be loud. Crowd size and seating location can affect the sound, so further tweaks may be needed, Riggs said.

Overall, the ballpark largely had positive feedback, but food and drink prices received the highest percentages of unsatisfactory scores in seven survey categories that used a one-to-five rating scale.

Nearly 26 percent and nearly 29 percent of respondents said food and drink prices, respectively, were “not at all satisfactory,” according to the survey.

So the team dropped prices of certain popular concession items, including regular and jumbo hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, chicken breast sandwiches, large french fries, some sodas and ice creams.

The prices were reduced by about a quarter, Riggs said.

Although there were a few glitches with implementation of the new pricing system Tuesday night, Riggs said the feedback overall was positive.

“When you make changes like this, reprogramming our computer systems, it’s not unusual to have some problems,” Riggs said. “But we had extra people on hand (Tuesday night) to handle any issues that came up, and, overall, I think everything went really well.”

Lower prices and sound-system improvements aren’t the only changes.

The hot dogs also should be hotter.

In response to feedback that hot dogs weren’t staying hot, staff will check their temperature regularly and serve them in a closed foil pack to retain heat.

Improved french fries also will be served, and the team will be asking customers about them.

Legends Hospitality Management will provide more customer service and a “secret shopper” campaign to ensure good service and food quality.

The ballpark scored well on cleanliness, customer service by game-day employees, fireworks and other entertainment. Several game-day employees have been with the team since the beginning, Simon said.

And about beer pricing?

“One of the answers is, I think our primary focus here at Clipper Magazine Stadium is family friendly events,” Riggs said.

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Originally Published Aug 06, 2013
   By DAN NEPHIN
Staff Writer

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