Falcons plan lower food prices at new stadium

The Falcons unveiled Monday a plan to buck sports-industry tradition by sharply reducing prices on some popular food and beverage items for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

On what team officials are calling a “fan-first menu,” a number of items will be priced at $2: soft drinks (with unlimited free refills at self-serve stations), Dasani bottled water, hot dogs, pretzels and popcorn.

Also part of the plan: Pizza slices, nachos, waffle fries and bags of peanuts will be available for $3. Twelve-ounce domestic beer will cost $5.

Falcons president Rich McKay told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution those prices will be in effect for Falcons games, Atlanta United soccer games and all other events in the new downtown stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2017.

McKay said the concessions plan is a response to fans’ long-time complaints about high-priced stadium food, locally and nationally.

“It keeps ranking as the lowest satisfaction in all the surveys, whether that’s the league survey or our own survey,” McKay said. “… Amazingly, it’s not one we’ve been able to move the needle in, so we’re going to try.”

McKay called the prices, which are well below what is typical for major-league sports stadiums, “an investment in the fan experience.”

According to an annual survey by Team Marketing Report, the average lowest price for a hot dog at an NFL stadium last season was $5.29 and the average lowest price for a soft drink was $4.79.

The Falcons’ goal, McKay said, was to “change the concession experience and the way people perceive it” and to “create a core menu that allows a family (or) a group to go to a game and not have to eat beforehand because the food is so expensive.”

Aside from the items on the value menu, McKay said higher-end food and beverage options will be available in the stadium from local and national partners at the same prices that would be found in those partners’ restaurants.

“We look at it as a very fan-friendly pricing strategy that in many ways reflects what a fan would pay if they were on the street … as opposed to using our captive experience to up the price,” he said.

See more on this story on MyAJC.com.