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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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