Ballpark Food Rogers Centre

Will Cheaper Beer and Food Bring You to More Blue Jays Games?

Getty Images Sport/Tom Szczerbowski

A user by the name of JimmyBeam19 said it best on the Blue Jays subreddit: “Biggest move of the off-season for the Jays.” In a fan landscape of increasing costs, it’s hard to argue with $5 beers.

Yesterday, City News was the first to report that the Blue Jays will unveil “Dugout Deals” for the 2019 season. This will include discount 12-ounce beers at select concession stands, as well as value pricing on concession food items.

It’s encouraging to see the Blue Jays adopt this method, as it seems more teams are going the Atlanta Falcons approach and actually lowering their concession prices. The Minnesota Twins recently announced a similar program with “family-friendly concessions pricing”.


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The Blue Jays haven’t released the full details as of late, but in actuality, they offered budget pricing on concessions at several stands across the Rogers Centre already. No word on whether these prices will be in effect for 2019, but here’s a look at the value menu from last year.

My question to you; will cheaper beer and food bring you down to the ballpark more often? With 2019 forecasting as a slimmer year at the box office for the Blue Jays, clearly, they’re trying to maximize revenue for the fans who will be attending in 2019.

Will cheaper concessions get you to go to more Jays games?

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Also, if this flips a few fans and convinces them to come down for another game or two, it’s a win for a club.

On the other hand, cheaper beer also has the potential of becoming a nightmare. You may recall the “Toonie Tuesdays” fiasco from the 2008 season when pandemonium broke out in the stands during select games. The beer itself was full-priced, but the tickets were $2.

However, I think the reason why Toonie Tuesdays were such a nightmare was that low-barrier-to-entry ticket price drew a very particular type of clientele to the ballpark. The “let’s pre-drink and sneak a Ziploc bag of whiskey into the game” type of clientele. Yes, I actually witnessed that at a game once.

The difference with Dugout Deals is the fans are still paying full price for a ticket and then the discount activates once fans get inside the ballpark. From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense.

I wonder if it might get the odd fan to attend an extra game or two, but let’s be honest; this is the club’s way of drumming up revenue in a year when they’re going to struggle to sell tickets. So long as they can get you through the turnstiles, losing a buck or two on beer probably doesn’t matter very much to the Blue Jays business division.

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.


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5 Comments

  1. Sam

    March 14, 2019 - 10:46 am

    Hey Ian,

    While I’ve only visited 14 ballparks, Toronto definitely has some of the highest prices. The value deals in Oakland, buy a $28 ticket, get a $10 food voucher.
    If the ticket prices are truly dynamic, as Ticketmaster / Jays claim, is there a chance they’ll go down this year? (lol)

    1. Ian Hunter

      March 14, 2019 - 3:04 pm

      I’ve never run across an instance where prices have lowered, although I haven’t really kept track, to be honest. That deal in Oakland sounds pretty sweet, though. In comparison to the Leafs and Raptors, I’d still say the Blue Jays have the most affordable options of the three pro sports teams in the city.

  2. Dolsh

    March 14, 2019 - 2:52 pm

    I’d rather have a better selection of good food and beer. I’m a one beer per game kinda attendee, so I’d rather see several of the amazing micro/craft brewers in Toronto be given a chance to sell at the dome. I don’t mind a $10 pint if it’s actually something I’d like. Same with food – Toronto is one of the best cities in the world for food, and it should be reflected inside the dome.

    1. Ian Hunter

      March 14, 2019 - 3:06 pm

      You’re preaching to the choir! They experimented last year with the Pop-Up Shops with food from local restaurants, so I wonder if that will make a broader return in 2019. Also, craft beer is a definite must. There are way too many amazing local options in the area to not have craft beer. I’d kill for a saison in the the summer heat at the Jays game.

  3. Jonathan

    March 15, 2019 - 2:47 pm

    Lower all the prices! Parking foods etc. Years ago I went to a expo game ( yes that long ago). Parking was $5 a beer ( real beer in a cup) was $2 hot dog was $1 of course that was 1979 or so. Great deals great atmosphere!

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