Saturday, April 09, 2011

Dodger Stadium And The Great Beer Cup Scam

Regular readers may recall that I thought something was fishy with the new beer cups at the Stadium on Sunday. Well, thanks to SoSG regular Dusty Baker for this link about Dodger Stadium's variant beer cups, and which one has the best bang for one's buck:

What is the beer scam? It's the stadium's way to make a quick buck on beer-guzzling fans. Many places offer three sizes of draft beer: small ($6), regular ($8), and large ($10). However, the ounces are not listed, and the average concession stand worker doesn't know how much beer they hold. [...]

I purchased each of the beers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and sipped the regular, which comes in a tall glass, first. Then, I poured the small beer into the regular beer and discovered that it's almost the exact same size! Finally, I poured the large beer into the regular and found that it was bigger than the regular, but not by much. I took the glasses home and filled them with water to determine how much beer each holds.

Ballpark Beer Chart
Volume (cups)
Volume (oz)

Although there is an eight-ounce difference between the small and the large, the best bang for your buck is the small. It's 18 ounces for $6, which is three ounces per dollar. Following this rate, for $8, you should get six more ounces of beer (to be 24 ounces) and for $10, you should get 12 more ounces of beer (to be 30 ounces). But that's not the case! Moral of the story: if you don't mind waiting in line, buy small beers.

I thought that large beers were always $12.25, so maybe my memory is off; and I don't ever recall seeing the $6 beer (is that a mini-sirloin beer?). But the basic point about these cup sizes being a scam for the consumer seems to...hold a lot of water. (Or should I say, the extra value in the small cup runneth over?)

Dusty Baker also rightfully points out the opportunity cost issue:

One thing they don't count is opportunity cost. You'd miss most of the game if you stood in line at Dodger Stadium for a lot of small beers instead of fewer times for beers that didn't give you as much beer for the buck but are larger, causing you fewer trips to an interminably long beer line.

So given the two-beer-per-adult-per-trip limit, maybe what the consumer is "paying for" is the opportunity to not have to stand longer in line? That may be worth a couple more bucks, true.

Thanks, Dusty!

I also like that this post (from which I also stole the accompanying photo) was written by a woman. A three-beer-at-one-game woman, sleuthing alcoholic beverages in the name of truth and justice? I'm in love. However, instead of this picture, dear Ms. Sweeney, might I recommend using this one.


Josh S. said...

Solution for the opportunity cost:

-Bring in a small cooler bag with some ice packs/blue ice (which is allowed).
-On your first trip, purchase all the beers you plan on drinking throughout the game. (You may need extra people with you, depending on the beers per person limit policy.)
-Keep the extra beers on ice.

karina said...

or confuse the sales person with an unusual request, like Dusty and Mr C did the other day.

or move to Venezuela, when you can tell the beer vendor to give you a bucket of beers or just give him a sign and he brings the beer to you seat. Tip well,of course.

Paul said...

Just read Dwyre's article about the Angels great opener....le sigh.

Kyle Baker said...

That is a perfect idea, Karina!

(applies for citizenship)

Kyle Baker said...

I like that you included a handy table in this post. SoSG readers can print it out and keep it in their wallets for handy game-time reference.

Kyle Baker said...


Yeah, but Angels LOST their home opener. Losers.

Fred's Brim said...

does the amount of time spent in line for the bathroom and engaged with the urinal significantly change with the amount of beer consumed? Do you always go once during the game no matter what? Or does getting two bigguns (1 trip to the beer line, 52 oz) or 3-4 smallies (2 trips to get 54 or 72 oz) make you go twice?

Steve Sax said...

@Fred's Brim: keep up these comments and we'll start getting googleads for FloMax

Fred's Brim said...

@Sax I'll take FloMax ads over the Pat Burrell ads I have seen popping up on here recently

Steve Sax said...

Maybe we'll see Aubrey Huff FlopMax ads soon