Blue Jays to offer $5 beer at select concession stands during 2019 season
A canned beer is poured into a plastic glass by a vendor in the stands at the Rogers Centre ahead of American League Division Series action between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers in Toronto on Sunday, October 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 12:34PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 4:24PM EDT
The Blue Jays might have a tough time keeping up with their rivals in the American League East this season but when it comes to the cost of an ice cold beer, they should at least be competitive.
Executive Vice President of Business Operations Andrew Miller tells CP24 that the club is introducing a new dedicated stand on each level of the Rogers Centre that will sell beer and other ballpark favourites for $5 or less, taxes included.
Miller said that the program will be called “Dugout Deals” and will be in effect for each home game this season, beginning with Opening Day on March 28.
He said that the deal on beer will be limited to 12 ounce cans of Budweiser or Budweiser Light.
Fans have previously had to pay up to $12 for a 16 ounce tall can of beer at the Rogers Centre or up to $14 for a 24 ounce tall can, depending on the brand.
Miller said that the “Dugout Deals” program is essentially a value menu for fans. Other items that will be available include hot dogs, ice cream and pretzels, he said.
The launch of the program comes following a drop in attendance in 2018.
About 29,000 fans per game attended Blue Jay home dates at the Rogers Centre last year, compared with 39,554 in 2017. Attendance was also down four per cent across all of Major League Baseball, dropping below 70 million for the first time since 2003.
Speaking with CP24 outside the Rogers Centre on Wednesday, Blue Jays Vice President of Strategy and Analytics Anuk Karunaratne said the “Dugout Deals” program isn’t as much about boosting attendance as it is about creating value for the team’s fans.
“Ultimately it is about creating value for our fans. We have spent the last two or three years plus listening to and trying to understand what drives value for our fans and trying to find ways to integrate that into the experience at games here at the Rogers Centre,” he said. “I think ultimately it is about creating the best experience we can for the people that are here.”
The Blue Jays aren’t the first professional sports team to try out more fan-friendly pricing.
The NFL’s Atlanta Falcons rolled out their “Fan First Pricing” menu when they opened their new stadium in 2017 and have said that revenue actually increased by 16 per cent in the first year of the program despite the fact that food and beverage prices dropped 50 per cent.
The MLB’s Minnesota Twins have also announced discounted prices at select stadium stands for this upcoming season as part of an effort to attract more children and families to the ballpark. Some of their discounted prices include $3 popcorn, $2 pop and $5 cans of Budweiser or Budweiser Light.
The Blue Jays begin their season on March 28 when they welcome the Detroit Tigers to the Rogers Centre.