By Ken Reed
Get this: The Atlanta Falcons have decided to stop gouging fans at their concession stands. That’s right. At the Falcons’ new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, fans can get a hot dog for two bucks. Same price for a soda. Popcorn is $3. French fries? $3. Also, 12-ounce beers are $5.
Those prices are unheard of in NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB stadiums and arenas today. They are also significantly cheaper than concession prices at big-time college sports stadiums and arenas.
“Ballparks, arenas, movie theaters all overcharge us, and we all became used to it… that you get gouged,” says Falcons’ VP of fan experience Mike Gomes. “And we wanted to say, ‘It doesn’t have to be what you’ve always been used to.’”
Kudos to the Falcons. Here’s hoping there’s a ripple effect throughout the country’s professional sports leagues, along with the NCAA.
“Are we making less money than we otherwise would have, is Arthur (Blank, Falcons owner) making less money? Yes, he is,” says Gomes. “But he believes in the long-term relationships we’re establishing with our fans.”
It’s refreshing to find the occasional example of a sports entity that isn’t driven solely by the profit-al-all-costs (PAAC) mentality.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of FansPrint
- League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.