Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) opened a year ago this week with the lowest concessions prices in professional sports and an award-winning food and beverage program that has inspired an exciting downward cost trend, while setting a new standard for guest experience at major venues. Stadium officials marked the anniversary today by announcing more price reductions, beginning next week and a new stadium-exclusive, domestically-priced craft beer that will debut in September.
Fifteen months before opening, MBS officials announced a game-changing approach to the stadium’s food and beverage program, revealing fan-first pricing on traditional fan favorites. The move was a massive success, earning MBS the top overall ranking in the NFL and MLS voice of the fan surveys for quality, variety, speed of service and value. It was honored as Sports Breakthrough of the Year by Sports Business Journal and several professional and collegiate teams and venues across the country have since followed MBS’s lead with dramatic food and beverage pricing adjustments.
The latest round of price cuts at MBS will take effect August 30, 2018. Whole-dollar pricing is a central component to the MBS speed-of-service ranking and the new cuts to premium items are all one dollar each, amounting to 12 percent in aggregate. They are as follows:
- ATL Italian Sausage: to $7
- Shock Top Bratwurst: to $8
- ATL Bud Burger: to $8
- West Nest’s Free Range Fried Chicken Sandwich: to $10
- Chili Cheese Fries: to $9
- Cheese Fries: to $5
“Arthur Blank has repeatedly challenged us to find ways to lower prices again to further improve a food and beverage experience that already ranked number one in the NFL and MLS in our debut season,” said Steve Cannon, AMB Group CEO. “We’ve listened to our fans from the beginning and these new prices are a result of that feedback. Arthur is going to keep challenging us to go lower and we’re going to keep listening to the fans, so this is probably not the last one.”
During the 2017 Falcons and Atlanta United seasons, average spending on concessions increased at Falcons games by 16 percent per person over the previous season, despite a 50 percent decrease in pricing over the previous season. Data also showed that more than 6,000 Falcons fan per game entered the stadium as much as an hour earlier to take advantage of the options and pricing in the stadium.
“We’re thrilled to see others going this direction because fans win every time another one does, it’s as simple as that and we think the trend will continue,” said Rich McKay, president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons. “Earlier this year we changed some items our Atlanta fans said they didn’t want and the replacement items have shown a 23 percent higher consumption rate so far. Giving the fans what they want at a fair price will never fail.”
The new craft beer will be a Mercedes-Benz Stadium exclusive in partnership with a local Atlanta brewery. Debuting Sept. 16 for the Falcons season home opener, this new offering will be featured in concession stands throughout the stadium and sell for $5 for a 12 oz. draft and $7 for a 20oz. draft.
MBS does not dynamically price food and beverage based on events. All pricing remains the same for any event in the stadium, which includes Super Bowl LIII to be played in the stadium next February.