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From $12 to $27: the cost of a beer and a burger in the CFL

Click to play video: 'CFL concession prices range from high to higher' CFL concession prices range from high to higher
WATCH VIDEO: At Mosaic Stadium the cheapest domestic beer will run you $8. At BMO Field in Toronto it’s $11.25 for a tall can of Canadian or Coors Light – Oct 9, 2018

Tickets to the Saskatchewan Roughriders next home game range from $31 to $359, but add a few drinks, and snack and the tab jumps higher than Willie Jefferson for a game-saving interception.

“It’s inevitable that [CFL teams] are going to have to look at that. It’s a large part of your budget when you’re going to a football game,” sports columnist Rob Vanstone said.

“Sports franchises, sports team’s venues, have to do as many things as they can to make it more enticing for fans to go, and if that involves moderate concession pricing, great,” he continued.

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So how much does it cost to enjoy yourself at a CFL game? The answer varies depending on where you go.

At Mosaic Stadium the cheapest domestic beer will run you $8. At BMO Field it’s $11.25 for a tall can of Canadian or Coors Light. Global News

At Mosaic Stadium the cheapest domestic beer will run you $8; fairly consistent with prices in the West, but dramatically lower than what fans of East Division teams pay. The Argos top the league at $11.25 for a tall can of Canadian or Coors Light.

But drinking on an empty stomach is no way to go. That means a look at the classics: hot dogs and hamburgers.

When it comes to a good old fashioned Frankfurter, Mosaic Stadium leads the charge by a healthy margin. At $7, they’re more than a dollar more expensive than the highest teams in the West, and $0.50 more than the RedBlacks – whose menu is one of the pricier options league wide.

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Saskatchewan leads the way at $7 for a hot dog. Global News

The Roughriders make up for the pricey hot dogs by offering one of the cheapest hamburgers in the league. It’s nearly half the price of the gourmet burger offered in Ottawa, and only loses out on price to Winnipeg and Edmonton.

BMO Field is expensive, but their hamburger comes with fries. The same can’t be said for Ottawa’s gourmet burger. Global News

Finally Global News looked at prices for bottled water, and the costs may leave you teary-eyed.

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BMO Field tops the list, a whopping $5.50 for a bottled water – for context, that’s more expensive than a hamburger in Winnipeg, or a hot dog in Montreal.

The Bombers and Eskimos continue to appeal to the CFL’s thriftiest fans, they come in at $3 and $3.50 respectively; Mosaic Stadium’s $4 water is third cheapest.

BMO Field is expensive, but their hamburger comes with fries. The same can’t be said for Ottawa. Global News
“A number of things go into determining what the price point [at concessions] is, those are the cost of goods sold, delivery, labour, and of course market conditions,” Shalyn Kivela, the communications manager for Evraz Place said.
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Kivela says she was unware of how other stadiums set their pricing, but noted at Mosaic it was a combination of the concessionaires, the Riders and Regina Exhibition Association Limited – the company who operates Evraz.

“We can’t compare our pricing strategy to other stadiums across Canada or North America for that matter because it wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples. Every stadium operates under different market conditions and different business models,” Kivela added.

Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, the owners of the RedBlacks, refused to comment on the story. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Argos, did not respond to requests for comment.

“It’s easier than ever to sit in your den and watch 149” television set and not have to pay for parking, and not have battle traffic, and not have to contend with the prices for concessions. I think the incentive to leave is reduced; sports franchises have to make it more enticing for fans,” Vanstone argued.

“Your next generation of fans are the younger fans, so you want the parents to go, but you also want them to bring their kids, and good luck taking your wife and two or three children to a game and stuffing them full of concession fare and not making that a major investment,” he continued.

But for many fans those prices are just part of the experience – like it or not.

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“I think it’s alright, it’s more expensive than at home but we’re here to watch the Riders live; you’ve got to pay for it,” one Riders fan said ahead of Monday’s game.

“They could lower it slightly, there’s a lot of teams throughout professional sports who are lowering their prices to bring fans in, but I’ll still be here eating and drinking,” another added.

The Roughriders and Mosaic Stadium will review their menu and pricing at the end of the season.

“At that point we’ll be able to review all our food and beverage offerings, including our pricing, and determine what changes – if any – need to be made to ensure we’re providing the best game day experience possible for our fans,” Kivela said.

 

Editor’s Note: Prices are standard concession prices and do not include promotions. The Toronto Argonauts run a season long promotion offering $5 domestic beer and $2 hot dogs.

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