We all knew it was true, and now we have proof. The Giants charge more for one beer ($8.75) than any team in baseball. According to a “fan cost index” from Team Marketing Report, the 20-oz brews at AT&T Park are 75 cents more than the second-most expensive park, which surprisingly is Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
Now, this survey is a little misleading for a couple reasons. First, I’m pretty sure beer prices at the new Yankee Stadium are higher, which makes sense since they charge roughly $13,000 per seat. Also, the Giants are packing more beer per cup, as Fenway Park is charging a little less ($7.25) for much less cerveza (12 ounces). Of course, the Red Sox security team actually laces each Fenway beer with Human Growth Hormone and Winstrol, so it all evens out if you’re the type of person who likes to build muscle to surround your beer gut.
(OK, OK, I know the Giants and the A’s are two of the most infamously juiced franchises in history, but after I went to Fenway in 2007 with my Giants hat and got crap from everyone from fans to concession workers for supporting a team that employed Barry Bonds, it’s amazingly satisfying to find out the 2004 Red Sox were as artificially enhanced as any team in modern era. Wicked pissah, huh?)
All this makes me wish that the Giants would take a page from the Los Angeles Angels of not-quite-Los Angeles, and do what Artie Moreno did immediately after buying the team: lower beer prices from $8.50 to $6.50.
Sure, the Giants can hide behind their vast selection of beers and a desire to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere, but that’s ridiculous. For one, fans would gladly give up the choice of whether to buy Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam if the prices were a couple bucks less. And more importantly, it’s tough to believe lowering the beers to the $7-level would lead to a rash of drunken miscreants changing AT&T Park to a bastion of hooliganism and inappropriate nudity. If you’re that worried about people getting too rowdy and scaring the kiddies Comcast loves to show (about 189 times per game) with ice cream all over their faces, do what the Giants did during the Candlestick Park era and create a “Family Pavilion” where alcohol isn’t allowed (I nominate the View Reserved section behind the left field foul pole).
Face it Larry Baer, people who want to come into the game with a buzz are already doing so at Momo’s (with Ray Durham, of course), 21st Amendment, Zeke’s or any number of places. And if one feels like binge drinking at the yard, the price of four beers at $7 would still be $28 (or, three six-packs of micro brew at your favorite corner store), compared to $35 at current prices. Lowering the prices by a couple dollars wouldn’t necessarily create more problems. Rather, it would create more goodwill from fans who feel like they’re being nickled-and-dimed every time they come out to watch the Fighting Zitos.
The fans aren’t asking for 10-cent beer night, they’re just asking for prices that are more in line with reality. I don’t care that it’s $30 to park in the AT&T Park lot, since I don’t drive to the stadium very often — and when I do, there are plenty of $10-$15 lots within five blocks. But why are beer prices so astronomical in the Bay Area? Is the Anchor Steam laced with gasoline (which also is more expensive here than anywhere else)?
After all, Cha-Cha Bowls are delicious and incredibly filling, and only cost $9.75. It would make more sense to jack the prices on those up, especially since I can barely eat anything more than a couple garlic fries after scarfing down one of those giant bowls of jerk chicken, rice, beans and salsa.
I get it. Beer prices are high because they know people will pay whatever the cost is, and security doesn’t want to receive texts all game about drunken louts spilling beer all over their kid’s new Build-A-Bear.
However, if the Giants are going to keep furnishing the most expensive brews in baseball, we fans are going to keep on complaining whenever the team fails to spend its war chest on the best free agents in baseball. Edgar Renteria for $18 million over two years? If he’s the most expensive acquisition of the off-season, 20-oz beers should be $5 at the most.
The Giants’ payroll has shrunken over the past couple years from over $90 million to around $80 million, and I know they’re running a profit. How about a little kickback to the fans, Moreno-style? I think that’s something we could all toast to.