Everyone has probably been to a baseball game and purchased a beer. You hear the vendors yelling “Ice cold beeeeer heeere!” on a hot sunny day and of course you have to. Then you see the price and may reconsider. Do I want to invest in my kids’ education or do I want this beer? Is mom going to get that nice Christmas gift this year, or should I get this beer instead? Okay maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact is that beer at all sport events is marked up an incredible amount. Coming from Milwaukee where there is more beer in peoples’ blood than water, it is no surprise that Miller Park makes a huge profit from beer sales alone. Across the nation beer comes at a cost and we will break it down.
We will start in 2013. Here is a look at price, ounces, and price per ounce of beers around the league:
Philadelphia gave the most volume at 21 ounces while Cleveland had the cheapest beer at $4.00, but when looking at price per ounce you were getting the best deal surprisingly, in LA at an Angels game. For reference the MLB averages in 2013 were $6.09, 15 OZ, and $.41/OZ.
Now how does that compare to this past season:
There is a lot of changes to notice in the past 5 years. As a whole the price of beer increased by $.02/Oz. Of the 30 teams, 5 stayed the same in terms of price/Oz, 16 increased, and 9 decreased. San Francisco had the largest increase from $.42/Oz to $.59/Oz. Alternatively, St Louis was the largest drop in price per oz from $.56/Oz to $.42/Oz. A close second place was Colorado who dropped $.13/Oz. Is it a coincidence that Busch Stadium and Coors Field made their beer more affordable??! No such luck in Milwaukee where the other beer stadium in the league (Miller Park) made beer more expensive by $.06/Oz. When it comes to size 7 stadiums decreased the size of a beer while only 1 team (New York Mets) increased the size. Every other stadium held constant. Mets not only increased the size of a beer, but did it in a significant way going from 12 Oz in 2013 to 20 Oz in 2018. Philly decided to stop selling 21 ouncers and instead are selling only 12 ounce beers. The highest cost/Oz in the league is in Boston by quite a margin. Giants, Mets, Marlins, and Yankees round out the top 5. Rockies are the cheapest followed by Arizona, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Texas. To be fair those bottom teams’ fans needed the cheap beer more considering the products on the field didn’t provide entertainment. In exception to the Rockies of course. Generally the wealthier demographic cities such as Boston, and San Francisco charged more for beer.
Beer is the most popular drink at sporting events. Personally it is hard to be at Miller Park and not have a cold one during the game. While stadiums make big money on beer sales, it is more enjoyable to have a beer while watching a game. My recommendation, go for Miller. I am not being paid to say that. I’m just a fan.
Beer data provided via data.world