Going to a sports game is a financial commitment. Tickets. Parking. Food. It’s expensive. Always. Well, almost always. One stadium is trying to change that.
Last year, buying a hot dog at an Atlanta Falcons game would have set you back $5.50. This year, at the newly opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium, they’re $2.00. That’s a major pricing cut for the good people of Atlanta. And a soda to wash it down? Yeah, two bucks as well, including unlimited free refills. On Twitter this weekend, fans were into it.
“We know one of the great complaints across America has been fan pricing, food pricing, value pricing for food and beverages,” said Falcons owner and Home Depot founder Arthur Blank in an interview with CNN. “We wanted to respond to that and make sure we found a way to say thank you to the fans.”
The friendly pricing continues with 12 oz. domestic beers have been lowered to $5.00. Pizza, fries, nachos, and peanuts can all be bought for $3.00, and bottled water, pretzels, and popcorn, along with hot dogs and soda, are a cool $2.00. You’ll notice that all the prices are set in whole dollars too, which was an intentional decision. No change. No tax. Just the ease of handing over a couple of bills for your third-quarter fix.
While the prices are lower, Blank’s organization wanted the whole experience to be more fan-friendly. The number of concession locations was an easy fix for the problem of waiting in line, while Julio Jones was reeling in throws from Matt Ryan on the field. Mercedes-Benz stadium has 65% more concession locations in the station, all with self-serve soda refills, diminishing the length of lines and time spent out of your seat, away from the action.
Football obsessives in Miami and New York City, who pay $6.00 for their hot dogs at Dolphins and Jets games, are sure to take note. Hell, the whole country should. Being able to feed a family of four for around $30.00, instead of $80.00 is a huge incentive to, well, come to more games.
Worrying about how much you paid for a hot dog isn’t what football is about. It’s about painting birds and pirates and lions onto your face the day before you have to return to work. It’s about wearing the last name of a grown man you’d like to run into another grown man on your back. Football is about collective gasps and screams. It’s about yelling in support of your team, with the people of your city. It’s not about yelling about the price of a Coke.