Could ‘Fan-First’ Concessions Be A Thing at New Bills Stadium
Going to a Bills game is a right of passage here in Western New York. From tailgating in the parking lot to the game itself, it is one of the most cherished activities that there is.
And once you're inside the gates, the experience is uniquely Western New York. There's no other stadium in the league where you can get Tim Horton's coffee and donuts, Beef on Weck Poutine, or La Nova Pizza. But, through the years the prices of the concessions at the stadium have been on the rise.
During the 2021 season, if you wanted a 20-ounce ice-cold beer, you would have to fork over $11.00. Craving a Shalen's Hot Dog? That would have cost you $7.00. Need a soda to wash it all down? Highmark Stadium served Pepsi brand products this past season for $5.00.
One Western New York Assemblyman is looking to change all of that when the Bills move into their new stadium. Bill Conrad, Assemblymember serving New York State's 140th District, is proposing that the Bills adopt what he is calling 'Fan-First Concessions' when they finally get to play in their new digs.
What is 'Fan-First' Concessions? It's a business model of selling concessions to the fans (food, drink, and alcohol) to the fans at a reduced price, in hopes that the fans would then spend the money that they are saving on concessions on other items such as team merchandise.
The Atlanta Falcons were the first team in the National Football League to adopt this model for their concessions, as they dropped the prices of their concessions by over 50%. The pricing at when they opened their new stadium in 2017according to Forbes included;
-$2 for a Coca-Cola in a refillable cup
-$2 for a hot dog, a pretzel, or popcorn;
-$3 for waffle fries, a pizza slice, or nachos with cheese
-$5 for a Bud Light or a cheeseburger
With the drop in prices, the Falcons still saw an increase of 53% in total food & beverage sales. From a business perspective, the Falcons made more money with the new plan. And for the fans, 6,000 more fans went to games that year, as the team created a much more family-friendly environment.
Assembelyeyman Conrad thinks that if a new stadium is going to be built using public money, like what is currently being proposed, the 'fan-first' model would be a great way to show appreciation to Bills fans and their wallets.
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