News / Toronto

This Atlanta stadium is offering $5 beers but Toronto probably won't

The home of the Falcons has slashed its prices, but Toronto arenas are unlikely to follow suit

Unlike at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, a bag of popcorn at the Air Canada Centre costs $7.75.

Torstar News Service file

Unlike at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, a bag of popcorn at the Air Canada Centre costs $7.75.

Good news: The Toronto Maple Leafs are winning, and the Raptors are back. Not so good news: you’ll still have to pay a hefty price to get into the arena.

It's not just the entrance tickets, either. Toronto's concession pricing is far from the best.

Last May, the Mercedez-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC, announced bold plans to reimagine the fan experience, slashing the price of food and beverages at the arena. In what they termed “Fan First Menu Pricing,” the organization promised to limit typical game-day food spending for a family of four to $28.

Among other things, the plan would sell regular soft drinks for $2 and offer domestic beers for as low as $5. At the Air Canada Centre, soft drinks start at $5.50 and a domestic beer goes for at least $11.50.

A spokesperson for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment refused to say if the organization has any plans to revise its concessions prices and follow Atlanta’s example.

High pricing at sports and entertainment centres is no rare phenomenon.

“It all comes down to what organizations feel consumers are willing to pay,” sports marketing expert and York University professor Vijay Setlur said, noting some stadiums are slowly allowing people to bring in their own food and beverages. “It’s all about generating revenues and profits.”

He sees Atlanta’s approach as a tactic to get more fans inside the arena, spending the saved money on pricey team merchandise.

“If you buy a jersey or a shirt or a hat at the arena, you’re spending $30 or $40 or even more. That is not the same as buying a hot dog,” he added.

“I can see it being beneficial for them, but I don’t think you’re going to see that happening across the leagues. Every team has to decide for itself what makes sense from a revenue cost point of view.”

Mercedez-Benz Stadium....... Air Canada Centre

Pizza slice: $3...................... $7
Hot dog: $2 ..........................$6.75

Pop: $2................................ $6.25
Small beer: $5 ..................$12.75

More on Metronews.ca