Masters Tournament: no racketeering on the food which costs 2.3 times less than at the Bell Center

Masters Tournament: no food racket which costs 2.3 times cheaper than at the Bell Center


AUGUSTA | If there's one place in North America that inflation hasn't touched, it's Augusta National. During the Masters Tournament, the price of food in the concessions is more than affordable. The most coveted place in golf is also the most affordable in the sports world. With a $20 bill in hand, the exercise is striking. 

Unbutton your pants, because you'll get your money's worth and your appetite.

Two beers in souvenir glasses, two famous sandwiches, two bags of chips and a delicious Georgia peach ice cream sandwich for a sweet finish full of local flavors. 

The Journal representative made the exercise of finding two complete lunches for $20, with supporting evidence.

For two, it is therefore possible to find two complete meals in the concessions. Forget Canada's Food Guide recommendations for a moment. You have to enjoy the food while watching the spectacle of the best golfers in the world on this sacred piece of land in Georgia. 

To cover the costs, the value of reusable beer glasses with the logo of the tournament ranges from $5 to $10 each on eBay. A bargain, then. And if you remove the “pressure lotion” from the menu, there are many possibilities to fill your belly with 20 piasses in hand. 

It is even possible to feed a family of four without having to remortgage the house and sell a kidney. 

In the sun, those who overindulge in Crow's Nest signature beer can even find Advil for 50 cents.  

The total price of the 25 menu items is $66. 

And at the Bell Centre? 

Let's now do the same exercise at the Bell Center for spectators visiting the home of an organization ranked 28th in the NHL and worth US$1.85 billion. 

Two beers on tap, two hot dogs, two bags of chips and a bag of treats for the sweet tooth will cost $45.90… 

According to the Bell Center menu, it costs more than $45 for the same exercise.

According to the words of the professor of sports marketing at UQAM, André Richelieu, this is “systemic racketeering”, because the organization has the big end of the stick compared to consumers. 

“Sports organizations take advantage of a consumption ritual that has developed among sports fans when they go to the arena, demanding exorbitant prices” , he had judged in an interview with a colleague of 24 hourslast October. 

An affordable event

Why are the prizes at the Masters Tournament so low? Because the management of the prestigious golf club wants to organize an affordable event without emptying the pockets of its customers. They decide what they want to buy. 

Although they are difficult to obtain, the price of Masters tickets this year varies between $100 and $140 each, depending on the day of the week.

Georgia Strategy

230 kilometers west of Augusta, NFL Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has also borrowed from the green-jacket executive trend after opening its flamboyant new stadium in 2017. 

It has cut prices in half. Water, soft drinks, pretzels and hot dogs are $2. Nachos, waffle fries and pizza, $3. Beer and burgers, $5. 

His daring strategy worked. Ticket sales soared, as did food and merchandise sales. 

“We did this because it was the right thing to do for the people who support our business,” explained the billionaire at the head of a formation worth $ 4 billion in 2022, according to Forbes

The Falcons occupy the 16th rank of the wealthiest teams in the NFL according to the reputable ranking of the economic magazine. 

According to Falcons data, even though prices fell 50% during the 2017 season, fans spent 16% more than the previous year. 

Merchandise on the other hand

“A fan who spends less on food and drink can thus spend more on merchandise,” club president Rich McKay said at the time. Merchandise sales had jumped 90% between 2016 and 2017. 

At Augusta National, “bosses” spend fortunes in the gigantic shop to obtain souvenirs with the yellowish crest . A few years ago, the average price of an invoice was valued at around $800. Those over $5,000 are commonplace. A colleague from the American press just robbed the place last Saturday for the tidy sum of more than $6,000. 

Clearly, the affordable strategy of the Masters and the Falcons did not cross the border and does not interest the owners of Canadian teams, including the Habs.