Falcons lower food prices at new stadium from completely insane to only mildly overpriced

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:

  1. The Falcons owners are hoping that if fans can get cheap food, they’ll be willing to spend more on tickets.
  2. 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.
  3. The Falcons owners are hoping that if fans can get cheap food, they’ll start buying more PSLs already.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

 


9 comments on “Falcons lower food prices at new stadium from completely insane to only mildly overpriced

  1. In an earlier post you stated:
    “The latest sales figures — obtained from the GWCCA, a state agency, through an open-records request — show 4,437 club seats have been sold (up from 4,259 through Nov. 30) for $98 million and 24,774 non-club seats have been sold (up from 22,358 through Nov. 30) for $70.8 million.”
    So, for non-club seats, that works out to a cost of $3,956 per seat. How many $2 hot dogs and $5 beers to you have to consume before you break even?
    What a deal from Arthur Blank!

  2. Even with these ‘bargains’…this still may end up being a studio game, if the Dirty Birds cannot make going to Xanadu worthwhile.

    This is not a case of ‘ if you build it….offer cheap eats…and have a gee-whiz design, they will come’. Rather, as was said by Neil…it is bait and switch.

  3. Ok, so hands up everyone else who, upon reading about the Falcons’ “fan first menu”, thought of the Twilight Zone episode ‘To Serve Man’.

  4. Cheap PR most likely. On another site it was mentioned that concession sales make up a very small percentage of a team’s revenue. While NFL and its owners are notorious penny pinchers, it may be that concessions simply don’t bring in enough money relative to how much they make in other avenues to justify the anger the current prices instill in fans. Judging from the very positive reception this news has received on most Atlanta message boards, it’s worked.

    • The fruit stand/supermarket on my corner. It’s actually 2/$1, but either way.

      And it would be cheaper still if I bought a case at Costco and grabbed one for each game.

  5. Try $5 for a 20 oz. bottle of water at Comerica Park! For that kind of ripoff, you’d think the Tigers could actually afford a bullpen that works.