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Why is stadium beer so expensive?

If you're like many adult sports fans - or like me, anyway - you always have wondered how and why beer at sports venues is even more overpriced than everything else on the menu.

Is it that beer is relatively easy pickings for extra-juicy profit margins, or is it that teams and food service companies want to discourage overindulging?

I asked Bill Lohr, general manager of Delaware North Sportservices, that question this morning at an event designed to showcase the company's offerings at New Meadowlands Stadium.

His answer, basically, was this: It's both.

"We don't want people to overindulge on beer," he said. "A higher price point guards against that.

"But certainly if you do the math, beer is a profitable item, no question."

Lohr said the company has safeguards against drinking too much beyond the disincentive of prices.

"We have wonderful training programs about alcohol use in stadiums," he said. "We shut it off at the end of halftime, which is the most vigorous policy in the league. Nobody cuts it off any earlier than that.

"And you can only get two at a time. You can't ask for three or four. We're very cognizant of responsible drinking."

I told Lohr beer consistently is the item whose price at stadiums and arenas generates the most complaint from fans. But he knew that already.

"Sure, yeah," he said. "I think that will always be one of the things where prices stick out a little bit higher at a game.

"But you're getting an experience with it. When I go to baseball stadiums I'm prepared for that and I plan my day accordingly and just spend a little extra."

New York Sports