We all know that a trip to the ball parks costs more than just peanuts and cracker jacks. Tickets, parking, souvenirs, and concessions can add up quick. It’s getting harder and harder to fill up these new mega arenas as the price of everything keeps trending upward. In strong markets it doesn’t seem to matter how expensive things are because there are enough people willing to fork over the loot. But what about franchises that are more or less on the bubble? Do you want to drop $200 watching your team get beat? On a weekday? I don’t think so. Something has got to give. And it did.
In an unprecedented move, Falcons owner and professional Walt Disney impersonator, Arthur Blank, has slashed prices drastically on all concession items at their new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. I had to go and fact check this ten times. I couldn’t believe it. How insanely un-capitalist of them. Blank is like an appliance store owner, starring in his own commercial, talking about how crazy he is for having such low prices. I love it. It also makes sense. The team has trouble filling their current venue, the Georgia Dome and many of the lower income seats remain empty. They hope this change in menu draws them in.
Blank and the management went back to basics of the fan experience. They recognized that yes we want choices and fancier options but that we still want value and convenience. All food and drink items are purposely rounded to the dollar (tax included) to eliminate those extra steps from the transaction. It makes the process as fast and simple as possible.
All sodas will come with free refills and there will be self-serve soda fountains outside the concession areas so fans can top off their own drinks without having to get in another line. Gourmet snacks will be available and their prices will coincide with this general “real world pricing” idea. The language out of the Falcons camp is that they don’t want their items to feel aggressively marked up. You buy a ticket to see a game not just to have the chance to be gouged at the concession stand.
These new, lower prices are sure to entice the locals of Atlanta. They will have their swanky new field and their cheap food. All they need now is a defense and maybe they can get back to the playoffs. Football aside, it was a good move. Democratic, even if the end goal is purely about money. It makes the Falcons organization look like they care, while giving their stadium economy a much needed spark. My hope is that this program is wildly successful and gets replicated around pro sports. Because I can just imagine how high the concession prices will be at the new Los Angeles Rams Stadium once it is completed. Can anyone say $18 beers?
Pass the mustard.