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Stadiums Sell Beer at Unfair Rates

Beware of the Ballpark Beer Scam

Last Thursday, stadiums across the country opened their doors and baseball season started. With it comes the arrival of America's favorite pastime, game-day eats, and the ballpark beer scam.

What is the beer scam? It's the stadium's way to make a quick buck on beer-guzzling fans. Many places offer three sizes of draft beer: small ($6), regular ($8), and large ($10). However, the ounces are not listed, and the average concession stand worker doesn't know how much beer they hold.

After watching a video that clearly shows the small and regular sizes are almost identical — with the only difference being the shape of the glass — I decided to investigate and figure out what exactly is the distinction between these beer sizes. To find out, read more.

I purchased each of the beers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and sipped the regular, which comes in a tall glass, first. Then, I poured the small beer into the regular beer and discovered that it's almost the exact same size! Finally, I poured the large beer into the regular and found that it was bigger than the regular, but not by much. I took the glasses home and filled them with water to determine how much beer each holds.

Ballpark Beer Chart
Size Price Volume in Cups Volume in Ounces
Small $6 2 1/4 cups 18 ounces
Regular $8 2 1/2 cups 20 ounces
Large $10 3 1/4 cups 26 ounces

Although there is an eight-ounce difference between the small and the large, the best bang for your buck is the small. It's 18 ounces for $6, which is three ounces per dollar. Following this rate, for $8, you should get six more ounces of beer (to be 24 ounces) and for $10, you should get 12 more ounces of beer (to be 30 ounces). But that's not the case! Moral of the story: if you don't mind waiting in line, buy small beers.

Have you heard of this scam? Will you pass on the message to your baseball-loving, beer-drinking friends?


The sign that is on every concession stand at Dodger Stadium.

Three sizes and three prices, but how much beer do you get for each?

Buying the beer.

The small, regular, and large beers . . . don't look that different.

Drinking the regular.

Pouring the small into the regular glass.

Shocker, they're almost the same size!

The regular next to the large.

Pouring the large into the regular.

On the left is what was left over in the large, after I poured it into the regular. Basically $2 worth of beer.
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bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 5 years
Chief, I think the beating of Bryan Stow is an excellent example of why it's no longer safe to go to a Giants game at Dodger stadium. Glad you (a fellow Giants fan! ) got out safe. :)
xxstardust xxstardust 5 years
See, my way around this is to utilize public transportation and drink on the train/subway over to the stadium (sneakily, of course!). Citifield actually has a pretty nice beer selection, and I'll usually get a beer while I'm there but at 5-6$ a pop, that's not enough alcohol to make the average Mets performance less painful. Of course, I am now a PROUD owner of the Wine Rack (please, google it and laugh hysterically) and I am *quite* excited to take it to baseball games this season. ;]
GummiBears GummiBears 5 years
I think spending 6 bucks for one beer is a scam itself.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 5 years
....not if you are a Giant fan at Dodger stadium....first time I had to leave a contest early because of the constant harassment by "Dodger fans"....will not be going to a game there again.....
nikks nikks 5 years
i dont remember what i was reading, but they were saying to just buy dark beers and not buy any lights if you really wanna get your moneys worth aka a good buzz. LOL! and if youre going to any of the giants games over at ATT bring cash since their ATMs always breakdown.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 5 years
i usually drink enough in the parking lot to tide me over til at least the 6th inning. That's the one thing I miss about Giants games, there isn't really a place to tailgate like there was at Candlestick. I guess you could pay whatever huge price it is for the parking lot (I never park there) and party, but I'd rather take Muni over and avoid the nightmare. :shrug: And Anon 9, I think they sell premium beers in smaller cups, but I don't know what the ounce difference is between them and the big cups. Course, premium beer typically=higher alcohol content, so the difference is really just water. And I'm not willing to get up and pee all the time at a game!
dreamalittledream dreamalittledream 5 years
I usually order my beer from my seat @ Yankee Stadium, so it comes in a bottle, but this is good to know!!! When it comes to ordering drinks anywhere though, I usually opt for wine because I know they can't dilute it or put too much alcohol in the mix (like every rum/coke I order!!!) or give me a small beer like this article suggests!!!
snarkypants snarkypants 5 years
interesting! i never knew this! luckily, i usually drink enough in the parking lot to tide me over til at least the 6th inning.
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