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The Quintessential Sporting Meal

August 18, 2013

Foods at US sport stadiums

Who’s eating hot dogs at sporting events? As it turns out, just about everyone enjoys some type of hot dog during a good game – or even a bad one. Around 80 percent of sporting fans will either consume a hot dog at a game later this year or already have, and about two-thirds of sporting facility concessions revenue comes from hot dogs, peanuts, and other traditional sporting staples, like pizza, cracker jacks, and cotton candy.

Hot dogs, however, are the food most equated with sporting events. Asked what food they couldn’t do without during a game, 63 percent of fans chose the all-American dog, and projected hot dog sales at Major League ballparks is $20,421,361 for 2013. That’s quite a lot of hot dogs – in fact, if they were lined up around the bases, the amount of hot dogs consumed in a year would amount to 28,113 runs.

Fans may love to eat hot dogs, but these meaty treats aren’t exactly hogging the profit margins, creating only about 62 to 81 percent profit. Compare that to snow cones, whose profit margins are between 92 and 97 percent.

Still, for sports enthusiasts, hot dogs are part of the main event. Some baseball stadiums even serve signature dishes to appeal to a hometown crowd and make use of local foodstuffs. Fenway Park in Boston, for example, serves up lobster rolls, clam chowder, Cuban sandwiches, and turkey BLTs to its natives. At Oriole Park in Baltimore, a hometown crowd can dine on rockfish tacos, bacon on a stick, and crab cake burgers, which involve beef patties topped with a crab cake. Comerica Park in Detroit famously offers the Coney Dog from Leo’s Coney Island, served beneath a pile of chili and cheese. Detroit fans are also known to partake in kielbasa from the Kowalski Sausage Company and slices of Little Caesar’s pizza.

Thanks to in part to concessions, the cost of the average sporting event has gone up quite a bit. In 2012, it cost around $200 for a group of four to enjoy a baseball game where they would partake in two beers, four sodas, and four hot dogs. In 2012, it cost almost $450 for a group of four to head to the average NFL game, including the cost of tickets, two beers, four sodas, and four hot dogs.


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