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”.
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.
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.