The NFL is dealing with the reality of fewer fans at games by dangling more and more bells and whistles. The secret, however, could be not more, but less.
Lost in the outside-the-box brainstorming is the exorbitant cost of the food and beverages sold at an NFL game. For the league, gouging has been good business for years. Fans traditionally haven’t obsessed over paying a premium over the movie-theater premium when it comes to beer and nachos and popcorn and candy and hot dogs and other stuff.
Part of the fun of attending the game is making a run to the concession stand, and part of the fun of going to the concession stand is not thinking about the money used to buy the things sold at the concession stand in the same way money is thought about when used to buy food and drink elsewhere.
But it all adds up, and fans are figuring out that, from the tickets to the parking to the food to the drinks to the lines at the bathroom stall to the scene inside the bathroom stall to the loud-mouthed, foul-mouthed drunks in the stands, it’s harder and harder to justify going to a game. Finding ways to make the entire experience cost less could go a long way toward keeping the stadiums full.