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Sunday, July 15, 2007

JS Online: Fans learn to play concession waiting game

I can’t wait for the follow-up 60 Minutes segment.

During three recent games, including Friday night against the Colorado Rockies, the Journal Sentinel observed how quickly fans were served once they got in line at a concession stand.

Using a stopwatch at a couple dozen concession stands, the timing began once a fan got into line and stopped when the fan turned away from the cashier with his food or drink and change. The timed waits were conducted before and during the early part of each game, and were done at the stadium’s field, loge and terrace levels.

The good news is that fans don’t have to wait too long for service, although one fan’s ability to be patient for a few minutes for a beer and a hot dog is another fan’s nightmare. For many fans eager to get in their seats, nothing is worse than watching the game on a TV monitor overhead while the slowpoke in front can’t decide on fries or nachos.

jimfurtado Posted: July 15, 2007 at 12:49 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brewers

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   1. HowardMegdal Posted: July 15, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2441741)
"Overall wait times varied from as little as 1 minute 50 seconds to as long as 12 minutes."

Someday, I hope to be served at Shea in as little as 12 minutes.

CBP in Philly, incidentally, is fantastic at serving and getting you back to your seat. I am hopeful that will be the case in CitiField. A lot of it is ratio of employees and stands to fans, it seems... but even in upper reserved at Shea on a less busy night, you must be prepared to give up a half-inning. I scout the turns of lineup accordingly.

Truth is, mostly I bring my own- but if we've forgotten to, or can't, I'm not going to make my wife go hungry all night. Bring on the Nintendo ordering system, I say! I shouldn't have to choose between watching the fourth inning and keeping my wife happy.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 15, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2441830)
One of the paybacks for any publicly funded stadium should be a mandated allowing of outside food and non-alcoholic drink. That would take care of much of the problem of lines, at least for those whose main interest is in watching the game and not playing food critic.

That said, it is kind of comical to see this fat friend of mine get busted every time trying to smuggle halfsmokes and sodas in his backpack. He's as dumb as a post but he'll never stop trying.
   3. H_Vaughn08 Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:19 AM (#2442240)
The delays are out-of-towners standing bewildered when asked if they want their brat "dipped."
   4. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2442245)
You'd have to be either loaded or incredibly impatient to buy food at a ballpark, it seems to me. Three hours without eating isn't very long.
   5. Chris Dial Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:28 AM (#2442247)
You'd have to be either loaded or incredibly impatient to buy food at a ballpark, it seems to me.

How about you just enjoy having a hot dog at the game as part of the experience?

Do you buy popcorn when you go to the movies?
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2442260)
Vaux:

Do you have children? Do you take them to a ballgame? And while there tell them "Be patient, it's only a few hours?" And for those insisting on taking stuff with you into the ballpark that's fine. But if you are a parent who does NOT always go to the game and maybe not the most adept at thinking ahead then having concessions that work effectively is helpful.

And cripes, what is the big deal about a hot dog and soda? Maybe some cotton candy. A soft pretzel perhaps. It's the BEER that is crazy expensive relative to the outside world. The rest is just somewhat inflated. I understand that this statement doesn't apply to EVERY ballpark, but I think it covers most baseball stadiums.
   7. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:46 AM (#2442262)
Do you buy popcorn when you go to the movies?

Nope. Two hours is an even shorter time. Of course, I don't go to the movies anyway. . . or at least very rarely. Those prices are even more ridiculous for the worth of the product than baseball tickets. You're right, though, I forgot about the whole "experience" thing.

Harvey, I hope that by the time I have children I have more money. That's my plan, anyway. But otherwise, I suspect I'll say exactly that, and we'll see what happens. . . they'll either learn frugality or hate me, one or the other.
   8. HowardMegdal Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:49 AM (#2442263)
You'd have to be either loaded or incredibly impatient to buy food at a ballpark, it seems to me. Three hours without eating isn't very long.

Well, my wife is an alcoholic who demands things immediately.

Truth be told, we bring our own food. Please don't tell Shea Stadium. But it took a while to get to that point, and more often than not, my wife needed to rush directly from her teaching day followed by after school program in order to avoid the traffic that would land her at Shea after the third inning. So it's really more like 12 hours under those conditions.

Fortunately, I have a pretend job writing, and can greet her with what I've cooked/purchased.
   9. Chris Dial Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:52 AM (#2442265)
It's the BEER that is crazy expensive relative to the outside world.

Is it really? At Wrigley, they poured 24 oz cans for $6 (IIRC), and it was just a month ago. So that's a 12 oz beer for $3. Now sure, it is cheaper at home, but not any more expensive than going to any pub or restaurant.
   10. Jeff K. Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:55 AM (#2442269)
And cripes, what is the big deal about a hot dog and soda? Maybe some cotton candy. A soft pretzel perhaps. It's the BEER that is crazy expensive relative to the outside world.

Not that your overall point is wrong, but at every park I've been to, even hot dogs and sodas are ridiculously expensive. $4 for a soda? $3.50 for a hot dog?

Well, my wife is an alcoholic who demands things immediately.

Does she have a sister?
   11. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2442270)
Putting aside the experience thing -- I do feel having a hot dog at the game is part of it -- you have to live next door to the ballpark for it to be "three hours." For me to get to a game is a minimum of a two hour trip; to be sure I get there early means I leave three hours before the game.

Of course, if you sit in the sections with waiter service, you don't need to worry about lines...
   12. SouthSideRyan Posted: July 16, 2007 at 12:59 AM (#2442273)
They're definitely not 24 oz. cans. They might be 16, but I always thought they were 12. But the point stands, bars in Wrigleyville are gonna set you back 5 bucks for the same beer, so it's really not that much of a difference. I don't know how it is in other cities, but it's actually a good deal here.
   13. Jeff K. Posted: July 16, 2007 at 01:53 AM (#2442299)
They're definitely not 24 oz. cans. They might be 16, but I always thought they were 12.

To the best of my knowledge, there aren't 16 oz. cans. 12 or 24. Bottles, yes, the plastic kind.
   14. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2442304)
Heh.
Just got back from Wrigley this weekend.

I THINK Sam Adams was $5.50 at Murphy's across the street. And the post-game St Pauli Girl was $5.50 at Slugger's, I believe.
Only got one or two brews inside the Friendly Confines on Fri/Sat, I'd have guessed it was $5.50 for 12 ounces of Bud?
But don't hold me to it - it's not like you walk away if the price doesn't seem right, lol.
Hmm, I think Shea is $8.25. Maybe that's 16 ounces?
At these prices, not sure anyone becomes enough of a regular to have it memorized.

The Wrigley kosher dog was $4, the regular kind $3.50. I noticed that.

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