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: Questions about Qualcomm

Written by :
Published on : September 20, 2015

 

For the last four years, Alex and I have traveled to whichever is the closest to Los Angeles of the Detroit Lions’ west coast games. We’ve done Candlestick Park in San Fran and twice been to University of Phoenix Stadium for Lions vs. Cardinals. As soon as the NFL schedule is released we look for our road trip game. Boom! Week 1 in San Diego for a battle with the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. I have never been to Qualcomm and after my trip I have a few questions.

 

First question is where are all the crazy fans? The face painted, decked out in head-to-toe team gear psychos? Where they at? I didn’t see them. 

 

The Michigang rolled into the tailgate lot and found a surprising amount of away team support. Maybe it was all the blue but it felt like there were tons of Lions fans. I’ve been to my share of hostile grounds aside from a few negative comments, the Charger locals were all chill.

 

If you look close in the picture below you can spot a few other SBS writers. Let’s play a game of ‘Where’s Joe and Michael*?’

*Michael is not from Michigan but still our friend so we let him come anyway.

Michigang

 

My next question is about the parking lot, there are several gates leading in but why isn’t there an “Antonio Gate?” I mean how many TD’s did Gates catch for the Chargers? Seems like a missed opportunity Qualcomm.

 

Qualcomm 3

 

God Damn it’s sunny there. Make sure you get tickets on the home side of the field or you are gonna get roasted. Even in the partial shade I had to rock a t-shirt do-rag just to keep the UV off my neck. Overall, I’d say the stadium has decent eye lines but it feels strange that the seating doesn’t start right behind the team bench.

 

Next question is what are they saving all that room for? It’s a complete waste of space. You could get more seats in there or move everyone a little closer. Poor planning Qualcomm. 

 

Qualcomm 2

 

Hey, haircut! Down in front. I feel like Kramer from Seinfeld was sitting in front of me. As the game continued into the second half I decided to venture out and get some snacks. Being in Southern Cali, I half expected sushi or at least tacos but I found the food options in the upper sections to be quite limited.

 

Where is all the fancy concessions Qualcomm? The new trend in stadium food is leaning into the craft and gourmet but all I could find was the usual suspects.  Step your game up.

 

I settled on nachos, a hotdog and two more beers. And yes, I dipped the dog in the cheese. This ain’t my first rodeo.

 

Qualcomm 1

 

The game was almost over and the Chargers were putting the finishing touches on a masterful and heart breaking (for us Lions fans) comeback. To my shock, many of the San Diego faithful were already leaving to beat traffic.

 

Last question: are you kidding me??? Your team plays great and storms back to win in your home opener/season opener and your fans don’t even want to stay to cheer on the squad? That’s nuts. I get leaving early if it’s a blowout but c’mon Qualcomm. Show some respect. 

 

Maybe I’m just bitter because my team lost but the flip-flop beach attitude of the Chargers fans really rubs me the wrong way. This isn’t Sea World, it’s the NFL and if they don’t care enough to heckle opposing fans and stay to the end of the game then maybe they don’t deserve a team. I know Los Angeles is ready and their fans kill people* in the parking lot. Now that’s commitment.

*SBS does not indorse fan on fan violence, just an observation on the levels of loyalty.

 

Overall, I had a really, really good time. The stadium and the fans are maybe too relaxed for my liking but the Chargers are a no-quit team and you gotta give them props for that. I just really, really wanted to win.

 

There is nothing worse than getting beat by someone who seems like they don’t care as much as you. Maybe it’s some sort of Zen tactic to drive people crazy. So I’ll leave you with the immortal words of The Anchorman, Ron Burgundy “Go fuck yourself San Diego.”

 

F Qualcomm

 



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