July 14, 2018 10:01:42 PM
When Mississippi State fans attend games this year, they'll notice a dramatic change in what they pay for things like sodas, hot dogs and nachos.
Beginning this fall, prices on food and beverages at all MSU sporting venues will be cut dramatically -- by up to 60 percent on some items -- through a collaborative effort between the university and Aramark, the university's food services provider, as part of the university's "#MoorValue" marketing campaign, named after new head football coach Joe Moorhead.
"Providing our fans and families with more affordable food and beverage options is extremely important," MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said in press release announcing the change in pricing. "We will continue to explore innovative ways to enhance the game-day experience for our Bulldog family."
For families such as Adam and Melissa Davis, who have two children who they take to games, the savings at the concession stand could be substantial.
"Before, you might get a couple of drinks and a couple of snacks and it would be $20, maybe more," Melissa Davis said. "I don't know that dropping the prices will mean we'll go to more games, but it's definitely a good thing to see the prices go down like this. I think a lot more people will be going to the concession stands now."
Adam Davis agreed, saying the only downside he could think of was that it may affect church groups and organizations that work the concession stands to raise funds.
"A lot depends on the volume of sales, I guess," he said. "If the volume increases a lot, I could see why these groups wouldn't lose anything. Still, I do wonder if there are unintended consequences."
Potential for more revenue
Although it's rare any time food and beverage prices fall -- especially by 25 to 60 percent as in this case -- it is not unprecedented, nor does it always mean a decrease in sales.
At Ole Miss, the university slashed its concession prices at The Pavilion where Ole Miss plays its basketball games last season. And in Atlanta, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons cut their prices on non-specialty item food/beverage products by an average of 50 percent as it made the move from The Georgia Dome to its new Mercedes Benz Stadium. Even with the dramatic drop in prices, the move increased revenue -- Falcons' fans spent 16 percent more on concessions last season than during the previous season at the Georgia Dome.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said the change in food and beverage pricing is one of the university's many changes aimed at making its sporting events more affordable and enjoyable.
"High quality refreshments, more sensible pricing, faster service and new policies that address items of input from our fan base are a winning combination for a better game day experience," Keenum said in the press release.
The price reductions will be in effect at all MSU home venues: Davis Wade Stadium, Humphrey Coliseum, Dudy Noble Field, Newell-Grissom Building, MSU Soccer Field, Nusz Park and the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.
The drop in concession prices is a portion of several fan game day enhancements on campus as part of the #MoorValue campaign. Earlier this spring, MSU Athletics unveiled a football season ticket price decrease of up to 20 percent for several sections of Davis Wade Stadium.
"In my mind, dropping the ticket prices is the best thing they could do for fans," Adam Davis said. "That's not to say that dropping the prices on concessions isn't a good thing, but I don't think it's going to increase attendance. But if it's their goal to make going more affordable, it's a positive thing."
Slim Smith is a columnist and feature writer for The Dispatch. His email address is [email protected]
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