The NFL has officially started a new season, yet ratings are at a 10-year low. American’s are sick and tired of athletes who are choosing to kneel in protest while the national anthem plays and have responded by not attending games at all. Now, in an attempt to lure fans back to the stands, some sports teams are experimenting with offering cheaper concession food.
The Detroit Lions recently announced concession discounts for the first hour after gates opened at the stadium, offering up $5 beers and cheaper meal combos at certain stands throughout the rest of the game. Rod Wood, the Lions team president, explained in a statement that their team’s program aimed to serve fans “without hurting the quality or speed of service.”
Although concession sales are basically inconsequential to any athletic team’s
revenue, lowering the price for food at the games is the NFL’s way of incentivising and trying to bring more fans back to the stadiums.
NYU sports management professor, Wayne McDonell says that while fans are saving money on concessions, they’re more willing to spend money elsewhere, including tickets to other games. McDonell told CNBC recently that they’d already seen an increase in ticket sales using this cheaper food model with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks who recently introduced what they refer to as “fan-friendly” pricing.
The Hawks are Atlanta’s third pro franchise that are offering the cheaper food stand prices, following moves a year earlier by the NFL’s Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, reports CNBC
Empty seats could be seen at several games over the weekend, with none of the games filling their stands.
Check out all the available seats at the Baltimore Ravens vs Buffalo Bills game: Pat Rick (@pbhockey04) tweets a screenshot of the game where it appears there were more seats left empty than occupied by fans:
The Chargers vs Chiefs game at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, California also had several empty seats. Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) tweeted out a short video clip on Sunday where many seats at the stadium were clearly unoccupied
President Donald Trump suggested the teams may see an increase in attendance as well as ratings if those who chose to kneel during the national anthem tried standing instead.
“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison. Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”