College football is dealing with an nationwide attendance shortage right now, and the professionals involved are clanging their heads together to find a solution. Do we need better in-game entertainment? A better lineup of opponents? Earlier kickoff times? Better WiFi?
None of those things are bad on their own--the next person to complain about improved WiFi will be the first--but many of them are outside the schools' immediate control (kick times and opponents) or are expensive to remedy (WiFi). There is one issue, though, that schools have complete control over and can be fixed immediately: pricing.
A college sports game is an entertainment event no different than a movie, a concert or a trip to Six Flags in that the more affordable it is, the more likely a family is to attend. Obviously, every athletics department worth its salt will study the issue to avoid devaluing its sporting tickets too much but even still, a ticket sold at 50 percent the sticker price is still worth infinitely more than an unsold one. (This has been Economics 101 with Zach Barnett. The test is on Tuesday.)
All that said, behold the new concession prices at Louisiana-Lafayette sporting events:
Fan Favorites Concessions Pricing:
- Hot Dog, $1.00
- Popcorn, $1.00
- Fried Potato Chips, $1.00
- Cheese Quesadilla, $2.00
- 16oz Domestic Can, $2.00
- 20oz Fountain Soda, $2.00
- 20oz Bottled Dasani Water, $2.00
- Hamburger/Cheeseburger, $3.00
- Pretzel, $3.00
- Frito Chili Pie, $3.00
- ICEE, $3.00
- Cheese Nachos, $3.00
- Large Popcorn, $3.00
Premium Concessions Items Pricing
- 16oz Craft Can, $4.00
- 16oz Craft Draft, $5.00
- 16oz Domestic Draft, $4.00
- Premium Hot Dog, $4.00
- Premium Hamburger/Cheeseburger $6.00
- Smoked Sausage/Hamburger Po'boy, $8.00
- Boudin Ball (3) w/ Dip, $7.00
- Shrimp & Grits, $8.00
- Vegetarian Jambalaya, $6.00
- Fried Mac & Cheese w/ Dip, $6.00
The Ragin' Cajuns billed their new menu as "fan-friendly," which is really an incredible statement when you think about it. What were the prices before, fan-unfriendly? Bean-counter-friendly?
Anyway, ULL has priced its concessions to a point where it will be cheaper to eat at a Cajuns football game than any restaurant. Actually, let's take that a step further. Even shopping at the grocery store, you can't get three hot dogs, three 16 oz. Bud Lights and a popcorn for $10, but you can now at Cajun Field.
Once you buy a ticket, of course.
Time will tell on what affect the new concessions menu has on the Cajuns' ticket sales and the overall bottom line, but good on them for gambling in this direction.