The Atlanta Falcons owners have announced that when they open their new stadium next year, ticket prices may go up but concession prices will come down:
On what team officials are calling a “fan-first menu,” a number of items will be priced at $2: soft drinks (with unlimited free refills at self-serve stations), Dasani bottled water, hot dogs, pretzels and popcorn.
Also part of the plan: Pizza slices, nachos, waffle fries and bags of peanuts will be available for $3. Twelve-ounce domestic beer will cost $5.
That’s not all that impressive in the real world, but in the captive-audience universe of sports stadiums, bottled water for $2 is a freaking revelation. Steve Cannon, CEO of the Falcons’ parent corporation, told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that they tried to match prices fans would pay in “everyday life,” which bucks sports trends, to say the least.
Possible things that are going on here:
- The Falcons owners are hoping that if fans can get cheap food, they’ll be willing to spend more on tickets.
- The Falcons owners are hoping that if fans can get cheap food, they won’t bring their own in those clear plastic bags the NFL requires.
- The Falcons owners are hoping that if fans can get cheap food, they’ll start buying more PSLs already.
- This is a bait-and-switch where in a year or so, the cheap concessions items will get smaller and smaller, and you’ll have to pay top dollar for a normal-sized Dasani water.
- The Falcons just love their fans so much that they’re doing them a favor by HA HA ha ha sorry, couldn’t keep a straight face there.
Anyway, something is going on here, and it’s worth noting in case it becomes a more widespread trend. I still stick to my motto of “friends don’t let friends buy stadium food,” but if other teams started charging $2 for water, I … would probably still pay 50 cents for mine at the corner grocery before heading to the game, but it’s be less of a necessity.