The ticket prices for fans to enter Mercedes-Benz Stadium during the Super Bowl in two weeks will be expensive, but the food won’t be.
The Atlanta stadium will keep its “Fan First Menu Pricing” for the Patriots-Rams Super Bowl 53 matchup on Feb. 3, Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay confirmed to ESPN.
The low-priced menu features $2 hotdogs, $2 refillable soft drinks, $3 nachos, $5 burgers and $5 beers, which are the staple items and prices during a Falcons home game.
“We said this in our negotiations with the SEC, the college football championship, the Super Bowl, and the Final Four … what we basically said is every customer that comes through that door is our customer,” McKay said when asked about inflating the prices for the Super Bowl. “So we want to treat all those customers the same and give them the same experience in food and beverage.
“What was interesting with the SEC negotiations, [late] commissioner Michael Slive kept telling me, ‘Hey, I want a provision in this contract that talks about the pricing and prohibits you from being able to raise the prices for our game.’ And I said, ‘Commissioner, we want the same provision.’ It was interesting that we had a common goal yet two different mindsets. So we put that in the bids for all the major events, including the World Cup.”
The low-cost menu came about at the beginning of the 2017 season, when the stadium first opened. According to McKay, the revenue between the final year at the Georgia Dome — which had standard pricing in food and drinks — compared to the first year at Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the “Fan First” menu saw a 16 percent increase in revenue, despite the pricing being slashed by 55 percent.
To prepare for the 75,000 fans expected to be in the stadium, McKay said it will be heavily stocked and that that doors will open four hours before kickoff (instead of two hours) to make sure everyone is accomodated.
McKay said he hopes other sports venues will follow the Falcons’ example and that the Super Bowl is the perfect opportunity to showcase the benefits of lower concession pricing.
“The one in the NFL that really adopted a program similar to ours is the Baltimore Ravens,” McKay said. “And what we like is at the end of the year, in the NFL fan ratings, we finished No. 1 in all food-and-beverage categories. And from how I understand it, the Baltimore Ravens are now No. 2 in many of those categories.
“What I like about it is [the Super Bowl] gives us a chance to further tell the story nationwide. We still have people that come to our venue for their first event, and they’re surprised by it.”