Basic Ball Park Nachos - © chow.com

Food and Bevs At Super Bowl LVIII: ‘Hail Mary’ Prices

We always hear about Super Bowl ticket prices leading up to the big game every year. But what about food and beverage prices at the concessions? Tickets and menu prices set records at Super Bowl LVIII…

COSTCO Hot Dog - © 2024 - Mike Sutter - Houston ChronicleThe iconic COSTCO Hot Dog: As steal at just $1.50! Compare
with the equivalent Dog at Super Bowl LVIII for $14…

Okay. First things first: If you were off the grid over the weekend, let me bring you up to date: The Chiefs edged the 49ers last night, 25-22 on an overtime TD. Now, on to the important stuff.

Tickets stratospheric

As usual, Super Bowl ticket prices were stratospheric this year, setting new records. The cheapest tickets bottomed out between $5,000 and $6,000. If that wasn’t shocking enough for you, sit down. The most expensive seats were ten times that much! And Taylor Swift partied in a $2.5 million VIP box high above the turf. If you’ve been off the grid all year, so far, Taylor Swift is currently dating Kansas City’s star tight end Travis Kelce – who ran-in the winning TD.

Anyway…

Concession madness!

It’s bad enough that regular-season major league pro sports games forbid fans from bringing in their own refreshments. But they also charge absurd prices for everyday noshes. Like $8 beers. And $16 burgers. They can get away with anything they want to. Because they have a captive audience.

But the biggest game of the year stretches the average fan’s credulity – and patience – to the limit. And beyond.

Let’s sample a few of the menu items offered at yesterday’s nail-biter…

How about a plain old Bottled Water?

The stuff you can generally get by the 24-bottle flat for under $5. That’s just $0.20 per 12 oz. / 355 ml. But at the Super Bowl, folks were fighting to stay hydrated, turning their pockets out to find change, for the same stuff at $7 a bottle.

Curiously, Soda was the same price…

Yup. Against all odds, the price of a 12 oz. / 355 ml plastic bottle of any flavour of soft drink was also pegged at $7.

Beer: The iconic Big Game quaff

The cheapest beer available was a cup of domestic draft at $15. Then came the selected domestic and imported cans at $16, heavy on Bud and Coors labels. Next up were the premium brands at $18.

Pizza

A single slice of plain cheese pizza was going for a princely $13 yesterday. Add a buck if you wanted some Pepperoni on that, too.

Hot Dogs

Something for ‘the rest of us’? I thought at first that it was a misprint. But no. Your basic stadium dog was going for a ‘mere’ $13. The ‘upgrade’ House Dog (with basic condiments) was $14. And the ‘deluxe’ Elote Street Corn-topped Dog was $$16.

Tacos

A great, convenient and not-too-messy hand food: But at $12. for two small ones, not a bargain.

Nachos

A modern classic stadium food. (See photo, top of page.) And priced $17, And at that – based on the other inflated prices – I’ll bet you could have counted the number of corn chips in an order on your two hands. And maybe have a couple of fingers left over.

Brisket or Pulled Pork

A bowl presentation on a bed of Mac and Cheese. $18. I’ll bet it wasn’t any too large a serving, either. No photo available.

And the piece de résistance

Beef Rib

Got an extra $38 burning a hole in your pocket? Just the rib? And no side or fries or anything? They don’t say.

My take

Well, they literally had the fans by the throat on the water. But you have to stay hydrated. And the only other source of water in any modern stadium or arena is the washroom. I can’t think of anyone who would dare exercise that option.

A quick check of actual street prices indicates that, on average, were a fraction of the SB asks. How about that basic Hot Dog? Back in the real world, they typically go for $3 to $4. WITH condiments. And who could forget COSTCO’s famous loss-leader $1.50 Dog!

A lesson in economics…

I was even more shocked to discover that the Dog you purchase for $3.25 from that street cart vendor costs only $0.45 – $0.80 to make! The guy with the apron is making about a 300 percent mark-up. So… the Superbowl vendor was making – wait for it; drum roll, please – a staggering 1,200 percent mark-up! But don’t confuse ‘mark-up’ with profit. You can bet much of that 1,200 percent margin was siphoned off by the league and the stadium owners – for the privilege of doing business there.

And so it goes.

But, as one sage commenter noted, “Anybody who can afford even the cheapest nose-bleed-section seat probably won’t even think before forking over whatever it costs for whatever ‘refreshment’ they want.”

~ Maggie J.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *