Seattle Stadium Beer Scandal: Same Amount of Brew Whether You Pay $7.25 or $8.50

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OK, we all know that fans pay through the nose for beer, hot dogs, and everything else served at sporting events. But some snacks and frosty beverages are more of a rip-off than others. A YouTube video making the rounds shows that at Seattle’s Qwest Field, the “large” beer that costs $8.50 holds the exact same amount as the small draught beer that’ll run you $7.25.

Here’s the video, narrated by a Seahawks fan who sounds as if he’d done quite a bit of investigating as to the beer’s taste, as well the quantities contained in various cups:


What we have here is an optical illusion, with the takeaway being: Taller does not mean bigger volume.

A Seattle PI blog reports that after the video went into circulation, the company operating Qwest Field did its own internal investigation—not sure if this included tastings or not—whereupon it confirmed the cups held the same amount of beer. (Shouldn’t they have known this without needing an investigation?) But there’s a twist: Even though the small beer was sold as a 16 oz. beverage, both the small and large cups hold 20 oz. of liquid. So, a company statement says:

Fans who purchased a 16 oz. beer actually received 20 oz. of beer for the 16 oz. price. Fans that purchased the 20 oz. beer received the amount they purchased.

Fans who’d ordered the small beer had apparently been getting an extra 4 oz. for free. To appease fans, vendors at last week’s playoff game served only one size of beer—not sure if the 20 oz. cups were tall and skinny or shorter and wide—for the less-of-a-rip-off price of $7.25.