Los Angeles is pricey to begin with, and attending one of the biggest sports events of the year filled with wealthy celebrities couldn’t have been cheap. If Jay-Z is in the audience, you’re likely not getting in on some affordable scalped tickets. Well, it turns out buying the ticket is only the start—if you wanted anything to eat or drink throughout the game’s hours-long run, you better have had some pretty deep pockets.
USA Today reported on the concession menu price-gouging at SoFi Stadium, which had the most expensive hot dogs and beer in the NFL in 2021. During the big game, craft beer was going for $19 a pop, and one single hot dog was $12. If I was paying this much for what I ate and drank on Super Bowl Sunday, I’d be out at least $100.
While this might not seem out of the ordinary at a giant sports arena, there are some nuances—first of all, SoFi Stadium’s concessions are provided by Legends, a company owned by Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones. And these prices aren’t exactly the norm across the board. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons, charges just $2 per hot dog and $7 for a beer.
“When they hosted the Super Bowl (in 2019), they kept the same ‘Fan First’ prices,” said Eric Anderson, marketing professor at Northwestern University. “The (Falcons’) owner, Arthur Blank, was instrumental in maintaining this pricing policy for all events—Super Bowl, Beyonce concert, tractor pull, etc.”
The NFL is often associated with blue collar America, folks who like to drive trucks and drink beer and throw around the pig skin, so that fan-focused strategy makes sense. There’s enough money to be had in sponsorships and advertisements that there’s no reason to bleed football lovers dry when they show up to cheer on their favorite team, especially at the big game. Surely Jay-Z’s sideline bottle service will make up the difference.
What’s the most you’ve ever paid for beer at a sporting event?