The Problem of the Price of Beer at Dodger Stadium
Much has been written about the macro-issues plaguing our fine Los Angeles baseball team. Contentious divorces, mismanaged funds, bankruptcy. But when you're relaxing in the stadium, basking under the warm sunlight and watching the game, all of those issues become penumbral. And there's only one gripe left: the price of beer.
We all understand that attendance of a sporting event creates an implicit contract. "Stepping into this stadium, I am now in a 'market vacuum' that prevents competition, ultimately resulting in usurious prices." So it's not even the price of the beer, per se, that's problematic, it's the pricing for the sizes.
Most of us are accustomed to a pragmatic cost structure analysis. The small popcorn at the movie theatre is $4.00. The large popcorn which is 18 times bigger costs only a quarter more. Result? You order the large popcorn. It's a better deal. This model is exactly why Costco thrives -- I'm not sure I need a three gallon tub of mayonnaise but it sure is a lot cheaper per ounce than the local supermarket. Everywhere we go, if we buy more, the unit cost goes down. Except at Dodger Stadium.
For regular (i.e. non-premium) beers, 16 oz. costs $6.00. 20 oz. costs $8.00. 24 oz. costs $10.00. This means that beer costs 37.5 cents per ounce in the 16 oz. cup and 41.6 cents per ounce in the 24 oz. cup. Clearly the financially prudent (but ecologically poorer) answer is to order the smaller size. (N.B. "Premium" beers scale normally -- 16oz cups are 50 cents per ounce and 24 oz. cups are 45.8 cents per ounce)
Perhaps to some there is a benefit to the larger size -- something that might justify its higher price. A larger cup means that one gets up less frequently to get more beer, therefore missing less of the game. That said, with smaller sized cups, there is a lower temperature differential between the first sip and the last sip because it (theoretically) takes less time to drink 16 ounces than 24. Most Dodger fans likely have bigger things on their minds, and they should reflect upon them whilst sipping on the smaller beer.
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.