Atlanta Falcons slash concession prices

Written by :
Published on : May 21, 2016

 

 

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.

 

falcons menu 2

 

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.

 

falcons menu 3

 

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.

 

 


The Best Foods To Eat While Watching Sports (and how to make them even better)

Written by :
Published on : October 12, 2015

 

 

Have you been to a stadium lately? They’ve really stepped their game up… foodwise. Not only with the quality of the food, but variety. You can get Shake Shack at Mets games! But you’re not watching most games at the arena (unless you have season tickets, you prick). Suppose you’re like me and can’t find a balance of finding a business establishment combining optimal viewing situations with audio AND above average food. I have this problem where the places I like to eat while I watch games has a bad TV setup or they play bad music over the games or there’s uncomfortable seating. The alternative is going to a shit sports bar where fans are too unruly or the food sucks or both. My situation is this: don’t want to sacrifice quality of traditional “Game Day Cuisine” while sitting comfortably as I use a powerful wifi connection to check stats & be able to use a clean bathroom. I doubt I’m alone. Therefore, here’s my vision for best possible foods to eat while enjoying sports.

 

1. Hot dogs

Footlong

 

Fuck peanuts & cracker jacks. Don’t literally have sex with peanuts & cracker jacks, they can even be mildly enjoyable in the right context, but this isn’t the 1950s. You go to a ballgame, chances are that you’ll eat a hot dog. Hot dogs at ballparks are usually dirty water dogs. Since hot dogs come already cooked, they just need to be heated so at ballparks the cheapest/fastest way to do that is to have the hot dogs hang out in a hot tub until you order them, then they are tonged out of the tub juice. Fucking. Gross. Frankly, you’d have to be some kind of monster to prefer this over a grilled, crunchy charred outside/juicy hot inside frank. So many garnishments & condiments to add like carmelized onions, sauerkraut, potato chips, sriracha, srirancha (sriracha & ranch dressing) or just get your self a nice mustard & artisan buns (eat hot dog with pinky flailing). Extra points for fancy sauces with even fancier sausages; be the best for eating the würst.

 

2. Nachos

Cheesy

 

Nachos are great already, depending on who’s making them & how they’re made. I’m not including those corn chips with plastic yellow sauce you’d get at a stadium. I’m talking about melted cheese shreds, sliced jalapeños, salsa, guacamole (that doesn’t cost extra to add), sour cream & some (hopefully slow cooked) meat. The problem with this orgy of the hot models equivalent of foods is it makes the chips soggy (much like an actual orgy…). Also, not everyone loves heartburn.

Solution: cast a wide oven pan or cookie sheet, layering chips with cheese. Add vegetables toward end of melting cheese. Sauces/dips on the side.

Alternative: American Nachos aka Machos.
Ingredients:
Potato chips (ruffles for texture. Kettle chips for good measure)
Ground beef or pulled pork
Bacon bits (homemade, if you’re not lazy)
Velveeta AND shredded cheddar
Chopped onions
Chopped dill pickles
Chopped tomatoes
Ketchup
Mustard
Ranch or Srirancha

 

Just imagine if nachos got your favorite cheeseburger & fries pregnant. This is the baby it’d have, baby! Take nachos back for America!

 

Honorable mention: Poutine

 

3. Wings

Wing or go home

 

If you don’t love wings, move to fucking Antarctica. Wings are great, but you have to eat so many to be satisfied, not to mention makes Tinder a lot messier than it is already.

Alternative: Buffalo/BBQ Turkey Legs.
Turkey legs are delicious, longer lasting & the food version of Beast Mode. Which ever presidential candidate jumps on board with replacing chicken wings with Turkey legs will have my vote. Toss those legs in any sauce and it’s like your chicken wings took HGH without all the side effects.

 

4. Pizza

Always good

 

This one maybe can’t be improved upon, but much like any sports team, pizza is all about the quality ingredients that go into it. Innovation and creativity definitely play an important role. Chicken wings have been fused with pizza in different incarnations & it’s the Stockton and Malone of foods.

That being said, as enjoyable as they were to watch, they don’t have rings. (Mmmmmmm, pizza with onion rings on it….) Just like pizza, maybe the Stockton/Malone tandem could’ve used a little more help around them. For example, maybe if those Jazz teams had flavored crust, fresh burrata, heirloom tomato sauce or a melty real cheese or yogurt based dipping sauce they could’ve beaten Jordan? Jordan was the pizza you get at a fancy Italian restaurant with all those high end ingredients. Lebron is Detroit square deep dish from Buddy’s. Shaq’s that decadent Chicago deep dish. Mailman was delivery. JR Smith is DiGiorno.

 

What foods we don’t need to see near our sporting events

-Fruit bowls: come on, we are watching sports, not training to play. Take your mandolin & cut that shit out. You want grapes, drink wine from a box like the poor man that you are!

-Anything using chopsticks
Unless you’re watching sumo wrestling in Japan, this is unacceptable. It should be a rule of thumb that no food is allowed to be eaten during sport events that require any utensil that could be used as a weapon.

-Salad: See above. This includes anything chopped up & mixed with mayonnaise or leafy greens.

 

The goal should be to eat food with your hands that make your fingers too filthy, too slimy, too sticky to refresh your fantasy app every 30 seconds & enjoy the game the way the cavemen did.

 

 


SBS Stadium Series: A Day at the Coliseum

Written by :
Published on : August 30, 2015

 

Late August is the perfect time to see a baseball game. Growing up outside Chicago, one of my favorite childhood traditions was the yearly baseball game I attended with my Grandfather. Always the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Always sometime in August. I guess that’s why I think it’s the best time to go. I guess that’s also why I’ve decided, while on vacation in Oakland, to go see a baseball game. The Oakland A’s versus the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers. (I’m also visiting from LA, but my blood doesn’t run blue.)

 

Seen from the BART train, the Oakland Coliseum is an imposing structure. A walkway covered by chain-link stretches from the station to the stadium. It’s here I begin to see all the familiar faces from baseball games’ past. There are the Scalpers, offering seats from the corner of their mouths. Then the Capitalists, selling A’s hats and “Straight Outta Raider Nation” t-shirts.

 

oakland as - walk up copy2

 

There’s a long line at the ticket booth, so I purchase my seat on my iPhone. Waiting at the metal detector, I watch an Old Married Couple get waved through. The elderly always seem to be the most prepared at the ballpark; they’re packing sunscreen, binoculars, a bag of peanuts, radio, newspaper and seat cushions. You can’t take it with you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it to an A’s game.

 

I buy a ten dollar beer and find my seat at the end of the left field foul line. My section is dominated by kids- a group of nearly thirty, being wrangled by three impossibly patient adults. Most are wearing A’s gear. There’s one kid who wears Coke Bottle Glasses, like the kid from “The Sandlot.” As the game starts, the kids start cheering. Oakland scores at the bottom of the first. One of the women patiently asks Coke Bottles to keep it down.

 

oakland as - 2nd seat view

 

One thing I am certain about: no matter where you sit at a game, there’s always an Opposing Team Fan sitting nearby. And they’re not going to let you forget it. A group of three Dodgers Fans start yelling, “Let’s go Dodgers!”

The kids fire back, “Let’s go Oakland!”

“Let’s go Dodgers!”

“LET’S GO OAKLAND!”

The Dodger Fans give up, but the kids cheer on. The Dodger Fans get up at the end of the 1st inning and never return.

 

During the 2nd inning, I finish my first beer. There is nothing healthy or clean about food at a baseball game. There’s a woman sitting nearby who looks like Christina Hendricks hiding behind sunglasses. She has a box with a Chicago-style deep dish pizza inside. She eats a slice, scooping up tomatoes and cheese with her fingers. I am in love. I go buy pizza at the concession stand.

 

Dodgers take the lead during the top of the 3rd. Behind me, one of the kids asks his friend, “Do you have any money? I’m looking for the cotton candy man.”

 

This has to be the guy they are talking about

 

4th inning. I find a better (shaded) seat. I feel surrounded by die hard fans in this new section. There’s a guy with a Walkman (!) on listening to the radio broadcast while he watches the game. On the aisle, a mother daughter team of Scorekeepers, each recording the game on their paper scorecard. I wonder what they do with those cards after the game.

 

One of my all-time favorite things happens next: the Jumbotron Race. Every sporting event includes at least one electronic race broadcast on the big screen. Three opponents, thirty seconds (or whatever) to glory. It’s the exact shot of adrenaline we need at this point, and they serve it up hot!

 

Oakland retakes the lead during the 6th. The Scorekeepers are pleased. I can hear the kids from my new seat.

 

7th Inning Stretch. The crowd begins to sing; I am ecstatic. The highlight of every Cubs game was leaving my seat to try and get a view of the legendary Harry Caray, leading the entire crowd in “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” He would lean out of the booth and wave his arm like a conductor, and we would shout and join the mass of voices broadcast over WGN radio.

 

Harry Caray at Wrigley Field

 

8th inning. On the field, I see a foul ball bounce against the seating wall. An A’s player picks it up. Several grown men jump to their feet, desperate for a souvenir. The player finally tosses the ball to a kid sitting with the adults. The men all sit back down, disappointed as kids.

 

At this point, the Earlybirds that are looking to “beat the traffic” have started to their march towards the exits. My Grandfather was one of these. I never minded leaving early, until one year we listened to a last-second Cubs comeback in the taxi cab outside Union Station. Every year after that, I always voted to wait it out and catch a later train back home.

 

The A’s widen their lead at the bottom of the 8th, and I decide that’s enough for me. Goodbye Coliseum, thanks for everything. (P.S. send the Raiders back to LA if you’re not doing anything with them.)

 

 


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