The Atlanta Braves are taking an interesting approach to fan retention this year. It’s their last year in Turner Field; they’ll open the 2017 season in Suntrust Park, about fourteen miles away.
And apparently they’d prefer not to move their current fans.
My evidence for this: the new menu items they’ve introduced this year.
I’ve written about the horrors of ballpark food before*, and matters haven’t improved. Quite the contrary: the Braves’ new goodies are so egregiously over the top that they’ve attracted international attention, scoring a writeup in that bastion of high-end journalism, the Mirror.
* Look, I’ve got a more-healthy-than-is-good-for-me appetite, but even so, there’s some ballpark food that intimidates the heck out of me.
The flagship for the Braves’ assault on their fans is the Burgerizza.
That’s twenty ounces of beef–the equivalent of five of McDonald’s iconic Quarter Pounder–buried under bacon and five slices of cheddar cheese. And, instead of a bun, it comes on a pair of eight-inch pepperoni pizzas.
I’ll wait while you digest that–the thought, that is; I’m not sure the actual Burgerizza can be digested by anything human.
One hopes that the Braves have a gastroenterologist and a cardiologist on staff. Indeed, one hopes they also have a while-you-wait laundry facility, because it’s physically impossible to eat one of those things without getting tomato sauce, fragments of bacon, and a couple of slices of pepperoni on your shirt.
Not convinced that the Braves have decided to kill off their current fans and find a new set after the move? Take a look at the rest of the new menu items. Bleacher Reports’ rundown is thorough enough to give you indigestion just looking at the pictures, so I’ll just note the barbeque rib sandwich buried in onion rings and slathered in an energy drink-based sauce and the “Tater Tot Chop”, which appears to be a double handful of deep-fried mashed potato covered with “Coca-Cola-infused ketchup”.
The new stadium is about 10,000 seats smaller than the current one. Looks like the team has found a unique way to ensure that demand for seats doesn’t outstrip the supply. It’s certainly friendlier than the usual technique–raising ticket prices by 25% or more–but is it better?