It's easy to be a cynic, as a sports fan, and being a cynic is the healthiest way to endure the way teams tend to treat their fans. The Falcons, while a relatively fan-friendly organization as these things go, are not immune to this, considering they're building a massive new stadium that features very expensive PSLs at a time when the Falcons look decent at best. It's very rare, in other words, that being cynical about a team's motives is not the right approach.
The Falcons' much-loved decision to unveil really cheap concessions is one of those rare times, though. Even if you factor in the team likely considering the eroded trust in the brand and the sting of pricing at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium opening up in 2017, they could've just dropped prices a buck below the average and still reaped the benefits of some good press. By rolling with $5 beers, $2 drinks with infinite re-fills, and legitimately cheap pizza, hot dogs, and nachos (by stadium standards, at least), the Falcons have signaled they're going to try something bolder and more valuable for fans.
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman thinks they may not be the last team to do so, but credits them with being pioneers:
Why is this important? Why did I suddenly become a food critic?
Because of the reason they did it. They listened to the fans.
Rich McKay, the Falcons' president and CEO, explained to me in a telephone interview that when the team polled its fans, it found that voters consistently gave their worst rankings to the food experience.
It's likely that would be the case across the NFL and maybe much of sports. So the Falcons decided to do something about it.
Ultimately, if this is as successful as I imagine it may be--if there's cheap concessions, surely people will buy more of them, right?--you can expect to see teams not just from the NFL, but the other major sports in America following suit. It may be humble concession stand food, but it's nice to see the Falcons as trailblazers and not as punchlines.
What are your feelings about the new concession prices?