NFL's Atlanta Falcons Putting an End to Price Gouging on Concess - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

NFL's Atlanta Falcons Putting an End to Price Gouging on Concession Food

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(ABC) -- NFL fans will no longer feel they're paying an arm and a leg on stadium concession food — at least if they're taking in a game at the Atlanta Falcons' future home.

The team's new $1.4 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will open next year, will sell a number of menu items for $5 or less, even for major events such as the Super Bowl and college bowl games, according to a press release from the Falcons. The stadium is slated to host the NCAA men's Final Four basketball games in 2020.

The move is a reversal in the spectator sports industry, in which there's a race to provide premium seating and gourmet chefs serving high-end stadium cuisine. For example, celebrity chef Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group sells beef bratwurst for $9.75 and beef brisket sandwich for $10.25 at the New York Mets’ Citi Field and Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals.

But at the new Falcons stadium, a hot dog will cost $2, compared with the average $5.29 at NFL stadiums last year, according to sports research company Team Marketing Report.

The stadium and the Atlanta Falcons are owned by billionaire Arthur Blank, a co-founder of Home Depot. He also owns the Atlanta United soccer team.

“We focused from the beginning on building a unique fan experience at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with a goal of helping those who visit to leave the stadium with great memories shared with family and friends, not aggravation and frustration about their experience,” Blank said in a statement. “We have listened to the concerns of the fans on the food and beverage experience and have responded to those concerns in a way that honors our commitment to providing the best possible fan experience at our events.”

Some of the food and drink prices when the stadium opens in 2017:

$2: Nonalcoholic drinks, with unlimited free refills

$2: Dasani bottled water, hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn

$3: Peanuts, pizza, nachos, waffle fries

$5: 12 oz. domestic beer

The average price of a beer at NFL stadiums was $7.42 in 2015, and soft drinks averaged $4.79, according to Team Marketing Report.

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