Hurray for $4 Beers! Baseball Teams Stop Ripping Off Fans with Jacked-Up Concessions

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Is a $4 beer a bargain? It is at a professional baseball stadium, where the average cheapest beer was $6.10 for all Major League teams last season, and many venues charged around $9 for a “premium” draft.

For the 2013 season, the Cleveland Indians are taking an almost unheard-of step to woo fans back to Progressive Field: Prices are dropping for many food and beverage items, according to the Plain Dealer. The price of all 12-ounce domestic beers will be $4, down from as much as $5.25 last year. Hot dogs will be priced at $3, down from $4.50 in 2012. Prices for brats, pizza, nachos, and ice cream cones will dip a bit as well, and soda refills will be available for $2. The stadium will also offer hot dogs for $1 at 15 home games, up from nine last year.

In a way, the move by the Indians can be viewed as something of an apology to fans for a mostly pathetic 2012 season. The team went 5-24 in August, and the ballpark was often empty throughout the summer. For the season as a whole, the Indians ranked 29th out of 30 Major League Baseball teams in home game attendance.

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By offering cheaper concessions, the Indians are giving fans a reason to come back to the stadium. It’s a way to make amends for a bad season, and it’s also a simple—and smart—attempt to boost sales of tickets and concessions. “Will the [fans] come to a game more often? That’s our goal,” Kurt Schloss, the Indians’ Vice President of Concessions said to CNBC. “I hate to say we make it up in volume but that’s what we’re looking for.”

The Indians conducted surveys that yielded results that everyone would know without needing a survey: “that concessions was a barrier to the enjoyment part of attending a baseball game in Cleveland,” according to Schloss.

Some pro team owners seem to be realizing that if they push prices too high, fans will buy fewer beers and hot dogs in the stadium. They might also just give up on coming to games. This probably seems obvious to the many fans who are more likely watching games from their couches nowadays. But at pro sporting events, it can seem like a deal when you’re “only” paying $10 for parking (the rate at Los Angeles Dodgers games, down from $15), and a beer “only” costs $5 (the Houston Astros expanded its $5 beer offerings last year).

(MORE: Where a Major League Baseball Ticket Costs $1.45)

Everything’s relative, of course. The prospect of a $4 beer at a pro sporting event certainly seems like a deal compared to prices at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park. But it’s still more than double the cost of the average beer sold in the U.S.

9 comments
JimFath
JimFath

The Indians are competing directly with two minor league teams. One to the East and one to the west. About 20-25 minutes away from downtown. Most people live in the east or west suburbs and it's far cheaper for families to go there than to venture downtown, deal with parking, and higher ticket and concession prices. It was very dumb for the Indians to allow their farm team to operate SO close to their downtown field. 

RonaldTrump
RonaldTrump

You seriously can't get a fan to go into Yankee Stadium & just call your cell and tell you how much a hot dog is?

Everyone says "Yankee Stadium did not respond." Buy a damn ticket and tell us how much a hot dog is!!!

JonLevine
JonLevine

Typical that the major complaint at ballpark concessions is the price of beer.  I WANT YOU TO EXPLAIN THE $6.00 HOT DOG.  You can get the same dog (probably alot larger) on the streets of Manhattan at $1 - 2$ a pop while at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field they charge triple that.  You can live without beer at a ballpark.  But what about an actual meal for lunch or dinner?

UleNotknow
UleNotknow

" ... that if they push prices too high... fans will buy fewer beers and hot dogs in the stadium." OR stop coming altogether.

PaulMarion
PaulMarion

$4 for a 12 oz beer. That is a ripoff. $3 for a hot dog. That is a ripoff.

elmugo55
elmugo55

Lol then watch the game at home , that's a hell of a deal , here at nats park the beers are 8.75 for a 16 oz and 9 for premium but I'd rather take the nats then the Indians as my home team

D.B.
D.B. like.author.displayName 1 Like

This isn't the first time the Indians have cut beer prices. They were responsible for the infamous "Ten Cent Beer Night" in 1974.

jwyoung
jwyoung

Minor league baseball is often such a good deal: The Trenton Thunder (AA team of the Yankees) offers $2 beers (16 ounces) at  every Thursday game.

therantguy
therantguy

It's basic logic...you'd rather sell 100 DVD's at $20 than 200 DVD's at $10...you have to make half as many...HOWEVER...you'd MUCH rather sell 100 movie tickets at $5 than 50 tickets at $10...an extra 50 people buy more soda, popcorn etc...


In other words, more people buy more hats, more jerseys, take their kids who become fans, eat more pizza and drink more beer than a crowd half as large...I stopped going to games when the concessions (crappy slice of pizza and a coke) became (I kid you not) more expensive than the actual cheap seats....drop prices to reasonable levels and I'd go to 3-4 games a year