Cory's Corner: Falcons are doing what other teams won't

Fans are the lifeblood of any sports franchise.

They buy tickets, purchase gear and gobble up a smorgasbord of concession food.

Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank shocked the sports world this week by slashing concession prices in his bid to restore faith to fans. The Georgia Dome has been No. 13 in average attendance the last three years.

Things like $2 for non-alcoholic beverages with unlimited refills, $2 for Dasani water, hot dogs, pretzels and popcorn; $3 for peanuts, pizza, nachos and waffle fries; and $5 for a 12 ounce domestic beer.

Obviously it helps that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be opening in 2017. If you can get some more fans to eat more hot dogs and drink more beverages, then you’ve got a better chance to fill the new home.

For all of you Packers fans that are now thinking that that Lambeau Field will instantly be a haven for $5 beers, you are sorely mistaken. The Packers have a season ticket waiting list that lasts about 20 years — they don’t have to slash concession prices.

But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t. Taking in an NFL game means several hundreds if not thousands of dollars — which is why more and more fans are ditching the game itself in favor of the couch, reliable WiFi and snacks at an arm’s length.

I give the Falcons a lot of credit. They’re willing to make the fan experience great at the risk of not making as much money as they potentially could.

All sports better start paying attention to what is happening in Atlanta. The Falcons are realizing that in order to cultivate new fans is by giving them a deal they won’t forget.

And if that means $3 nachos, so be it. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (18)

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NashvilleCheesehead's picture

May 28, 2016 at 06:56 am

$5 beers at Lambeau??!!??!! Are you crazy??!!??!! I can't even imagine the lines for the Men's room with cheap beer available!!!!!!!!!

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ray nichkee's picture

May 29, 2016 at 08:06 am

After being at lambeau for a game recently, the piss lines are way too long and should be compromised with a constant view of a tv. Most people are staring at their phones to get updates after you hear the crowd which is delayed.

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dobber's picture

May 28, 2016 at 07:05 am

The Falcons are an NFL team competing for revenue in a region that reveres college football. They've gotta do what they can...

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marpag1's picture

May 28, 2016 at 07:22 am

I've never understood the bitching about concession prices.

A) You're out there tailgating before the game. There are literal mountains of brats, burgers, steaks, grilled chicken and meat of every kind. There are big tubs of chili, vats of potato salad, and family sized bags of Ruffles and Doritos. There are coolers, cases and kegs of beer at almost every turn. And even if you don't want to tailgate, you can still eat before the game, right?

B) A game lasts three hours. Add in a little for pre-game and such. Virtually every single day you go for at least three hours without eating, How hard is it to take in a game without buying a $500 plate of nachos? OK, you might want a beer or two, but you don't want to be ripped or you won't even see the game, and hey... you got a pretty good running start out in the parking lot, right?

C) When the game is over... let's just say those three or four hours without sustenance have really got you famished... there are sports bars, hotels, restaurants and personal homes where you can find something to eat that's a heck of a lot better than a stadium hot dog anyway.

The "stadium experience" is about the game and the crowd. I never really gave a crap about the overpriced food and drink.

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Razer's picture

May 28, 2016 at 07:40 am

Hall of Fame reply.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

May 28, 2016 at 10:44 am

I always did like marpag. Spot on.

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PaulRosik's picture

May 28, 2016 at 10:40 pm

When I was younger, college aged and shortly after we used to smuggle in a beer or four with us when we entered a game. Especially for a cold weather game you could easily have four cans somewhere in your voluminous warm weather gear. Enter near kickoff with the big last rush and you might have to shake out a blanket but no one was patting anyone down.

Alas, that was before heightened security concerns and it might be a risky proposition to try these days. Thus, high concession prices are a thorny problem. If you have been imbibing since 9 AM in the parking lot you do need to keep some liquid flowing to avoid that droopy, after drinking feeling. Mattering what you had tailgating, waiting four hours for the next refreshment might lead to a hangover before the final gun sounds.

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ray nichkee's picture

May 29, 2016 at 08:12 am

Ever since the cleveland game where they threw beer bottles you need to smuggle in a plastic flask to drink during the second half at most stadiums.

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Tundraboy's picture

May 29, 2016 at 08:50 am

Great post. The way some people eat at games, you would think it was their last meal!

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4thand1's picture

May 28, 2016 at 08:12 am

Jerry Jones charged me 10 bucks for a bottle of water in 2011. It wasn't even a brand name, cheapass generic shit. The SB cost me 20 bucks, a bottle of water for me and my wife.

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Tarynfor12's picture

May 28, 2016 at 08:59 am

Arthur Blank has brought the original idea of the Home Depot to concession stands. Lower prices equals more sales and increases demand of product which is then purchased in bulk at a lesser cost. The profit may take longer to achieve as with the higher price but time will have it at record sales and profit....though some of the product may not be up to some expected standards and the return policy not likely to be as lenient. But in the words of Cousin Eddie....the shitters are full. : )

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PaulRosik's picture

May 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm

It's all economics and statistics. I am sure the Packers know right where they stand on the supply/demand curve. And they either maximize it or intentionally don't to try to reduce alcohol consumption.

Even if they don't totally maximize it lower beer prices would certainly lead to a more drunken fan base. This has led to such things as no more beer sales after the seventh inning in Milwaukee and the infamous program to tell the Usher about anyone too drunk next to you at the game (the two fisted slobber ad that still makes me laugh). It is Wisconsin after all. In the latest list of the 20 drunkest cities in the US, 12 of them were in Wisconsin.

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Ferrari Driver's picture

May 28, 2016 at 09:00 am

When I get to take in a Packer game, the price of a beer or dog is minor and I "JUST PAY THE MAN!"

I have season tickets, but have lived in California for a long time and only get to go to 1-3 games per year.

The $300 airline tickets are a distant dream and have been replaced with prices between $650-$850.

The $65 motel is gone and usually runs closer to $200/night for my three night stay.

Car rentals aren't too bad and go for around $50/day.

Add in the parking, eating, and misc expenses and I go well over a couple of grand on each game.

Oh I forgot the price of the tickets which is the best bargain of all. My seats are in section 119, so they center on the 50 yard line and only cost me around $100 per ticket. Can't complain about that one. I also go to Packer games in CA and Arizona when they occur and pay about $400/ ticket on the secondary market.

So I just pay the 8 bucks or whatever it is for a beer and shut up.

JUST THE PRICE OF BEING A FOOTBALL FOOL. THAT'S ME.

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ray nichkee's picture

May 29, 2016 at 08:18 am

I live in north central wi. I am a casual game goer. I like to see good games, not blow outs but games that will be close. Are you willing to sell any tickets?

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Spock's picture

May 28, 2016 at 09:36 am

Just a tip on car rentals. I found out on the LAST day of my trip to Wisconsin last fall from a former neighbor that Costco has dirt cheap car rentals (and will also help you buy a car at best price) from the usual airport places. Would have saved me a ton of money as the week long car rental (from Milwaukee) was dang near as much as my hotel bills! I am just a Costco member, not affiliated with them at all, but thought I'd share that information for people flying in for the game. I've never been to Lambeau but saw many games at old county stadium. Not sure if Sam's club has similar programs, but I would suspect so. Check it out. Concession prices are always high at these events, but as Marpag pointed out you can choose to forgo those for the 3 hours or so you are at the game.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

May 28, 2016 at 07:47 pm

The concessions at Lambeau may be expensive but at least the quality is there. Those porky nachos are awesome.

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PaulRosik's picture

May 28, 2016 at 10:53 pm

When I was in high school my family ran a small hotel in Green Bay. When anyone called to make a reservation we had to make sure we asked when it was for. Since home Packer game dates had such a higher rate per night. Anything in such high demand will always cost.

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Gforcetrivers's picture

May 30, 2016 at 09:21 pm

I have been to Lucas Oil Stadium a bunch of times and food is awesome. My girl surprised me with outdoor club seats to the Thanksgiving Day game at Lambeau. The food Sucked! There was nothing worth eating! No Prime Rib, no tasty pasta dishes! Crappy crappy crappy. And we lost to Duh Bears!

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