The Masters Tournament is one of the most prestigious events in sports, but fans who paid top dollar for entry badges can look forward to dirt-cheap prices at Augusta National Golf Club’s famous concessions stands.
The Masters menu features traditional items such as pimento cheese sandwiches, Georgia pecan caramel popcorn and bottled water, ranging in price from a high of $5 to a low of just $1. In fact, fans could buy one of every item on the menu for less than $60. By comparison, NFL fans pay an average of $8.17 per beer and $5.23 per hot dog at regular-season games, according to a 2018 study by Team Marketing Report.
With four-day Masters entry badges listed at nearly $8,000 on StubHub as of Wednesday, the event’s low prices may appear to clash with Augusta National’s venerable status. However, affordable food and beverages provide just another reason for fans to keep coming back to the event year after year, according to Steve Salaga, a sports economist and assistant professor of sport management and policy at the University of Georgia.
“We have to remember, the total cost of event attendance includes travel and transaction costs, the cost of the ticket itself, as well as any parking, concessions, and souvenirs purchased,” Salaga told FOX Business. “So one way to make the overall experience more appealing to the consumer is to keep the price of these complementary products like concessions low. Not that Augusta has an issue with this, but I think the affordable concession pricing is an appealing aspect of the consumer experience.”
Augusta National is at the forefront of a trend toward cheaper prices at sports stadiums. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and hosted Super Bowl LIII in February, has maintained low prices such as $2 hot dogs and $3 slices of pizza since it opened in 2017. Clemson University unveiled a similarly discounted menu ahead of its 2018 college football season at Memorial Stadium.
An Augusta National representative said the concessions prices are part of a longstanding policy to provide an affordable experiences to attendees, such as free parking.
While Augusta National has raised prices on some menu items in recent years, the increases have gone largely unnoticed among fans. The club’s most famous offerings, the pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches, can be had for just $1.50 each.
“I highly doubt Augusta is taking a net loss from their concessions,” Salaga added. “They are trying to generate a profit from the overall operation of the event and concession sales are just one relatively small portion of their overall revenue stream. So they are probably taking slightly less profit on concessions than they otherwise would if they were pricing higher, but Augusta likely prefers this approach in order to keep the consumer engaged in the product.”