Lower Concessions Prices Carry Over to Super Bowl LIII

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The same relatively reasonable prices enjoyed by Atlanta Falcons fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will extend to Super Bowl LIII, as well.

Fans attending last year's Super Bowl in Minneapolis forked over $15 for a hot dog. This year, the price tag is $2. Likewise, popcorn and bottled water will each cost $2. Sodas will be refilled for free. Whereas $13 domestic beers were served at U.S. Bank Stadium, Mercedes-Benz will sell you one for $7.

As USA Today reports, when Atlanta and the Falcons submitted their bid to host Super Bowl LIII, they stipulated that the league could not set concession pricing in the stadium. Arthur Blank, the Falcons owner and co-founder of Home Depot, set the prices for concessions when the $1.5 billion stadium opened in 2017.

"I don’t know why more teams don’t do it like the Falcons," Jason Harris, athletic director at Rome (Ga.) High School, to USA Today during a Falcons home game in December. "The more affordable you make it, the more people are going to buy."

Typically, a stadium will award rights to a concessionaire, which assumes the risk of selling enough concessions at high enough prices to pay the rights fees. Blank instead paid concessionaire Levy up front, with the Falcons assuming the profitability risks.

The strategy is designed to help lure fans away from the convenience of home and into the stadium, and it has even changed the game-day rituals of long-time ticket-holders. 

"I used to eat outside when the games were at the Georgia Dome, so I didn’t have to eat in because of the prices," Pierre Sheppard, a 14-year season ticket-holder, told the paper. "Every NFL team would do well to take a page out of our playbook with these prices. Two kids and two adults can eat at a game."

Concessions pricing in Atlanta was also a nod to the public for footing $700 million of the stadium's price tag over 30 years. But ticket prices and seat license remain in line with the rest of the league.

And for the Super Bowl, ticket prices are through the retractable roof. For example, if Sheppard wanted to watch the game between New England and Los Angeles from the seat he typically occupies at Falcons games, it would cost him $7,500.

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