Here at BlueLine Associates, we focus on improving processes. As a fan at a recent sporting event, I noticed that there were not many concession stands (or bathrooms) without lines. And as I sat and pondered why this was the case, I missed a big play. Frustrated, I went back to my thoughts: ‘Aren’t the stadiums built with the appropriate capacity already known? Is there analysis done to determine how long a line or wait is acceptable? And, most importantly, how much do patrons value their time?’
As I finally got through the line with my pretzel, hot dog and beverage, I thought about calculating the average person’s expenditures at a park and found a good amount of information available from such sources as ESPN, Yahoo News and other online news sources.
I took these data points and did some additional analysis which sets the average cost for a family of four at $505:
- Parking at ~$30
- 4 Tickets at ~$95
- 2 Adult Beverages at ~$7.50
- 2 Soft Drinks at ~$5
- 4 Meal Items (Hot Dogs, Pizza slices, etc.) at ~$7
- 4 Snacks (Pop Corn, Pretzel, Nachos, etc.) at $5.50
- 2 Souvenirs at $10
Note that this average varies widely by sport and location. The above estimate spans all sports and all locations. For clarity, in my home area of Boston, $505 is on the extremely low end of a Patriots football game while it may be on the very high side of an Arizona Diamondback baseball game.
Also mix in the average median income for 2014 being $53,891 (source: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/20/news/economy/median-income/), which translates to less than $20 per hour per person (average household ~2 people). $505 of after-tax money is quite a significant cost.
Adding another element to the above plethora of questions is that stadiums also make the majority of their profit margins from concessions. Therefore, streamlining and/or removing lines from stadiums would be a mutually beneficial endeavor.
There are many ways to limit if not eliminate lines at concessions and restrooms: concession purchasing processes, architecturally move concession stands away from walls for better customer flow, etc.. Maybe it’s up to us. What kind of value would you assign a stadium that limited or eliminated all lines?