Student government collaborates with Stadium to lower student concession prices
Matthew McKenna | Friday, September 18, 2015
Student government has worked with auxiliary services and Centerplate — the concessions vendor in the stadium — to create new options for students on game day, including lower soft drink prices and combination deals.
Student body president Bryan Ricketts said stadium concession stand management contacted him over the summer to strategize ways to increase sales to students.
“We said the number one thing is the prices,” Ricketts said. “A student walks into the stadium, sees the prices are not for them, and decides not to buy anything.”
Ricketts said he worked with the vendors to find creative ways to reduce prices. The price for a 12 oz. bottle of water has been reduced from $2 to $1, while souvenir sodas will now sell for $3. Additionally, vendors will now offer various combos, such as a souvenir soda and a popcorn box for $5. These combos offer savings of up to $5.50.
“I did recommend that combos would be a good idea,” Ricketts said. “Also, when it’s hot like this, but even when it’s cold, and everyone is packed in and sweating, lowering the price of water had to be a priority.”
Sehlhorst said one of the reasons they prioritized a discount on water was a concern for student wellness.
“People need some water during the game for different reasons, and we wanted to make sure if anything would be cheaper, it would be water,” Sehlhorst said.
Ricketts said while making sure students are hydrated during the game is very important, they also wanted to address the struggle a student has choosing between forgoing the third quarter pretzel or spending ten dollars.
Sehlhorst said he and Ricketts provided a list of recommendations to concessions for more creative options.
“One of our suggestions was more seasonal-type options,” Sehlhorst said. “So for Halloween, we suggested having some things that are Halloween-themed. I think the apple cider kind of came out of that suggestion.”
Ricketts said he was able to participate in a walk test around the stadium and use his student perspective to help decide which concession stands will have student prices.
“There’s only students in certain sections, so there’s no reason to spread these prices everywhere,” Ricketts said. “They had one concession stand marked off for student prices and I pointed out you couldn’t access that stand as you could others and it would be a waste of time.”
“We had to think about what realistic traffic patterns are when a student enters the game,” he said. “Telling them something as simple as that can help to shape the student experience.”
Ricketts said game day shouldn’t feel like a corporate entity that exists to make as much money as possible, and the new prices help to make sure that is clear.
“If I’m a hungry student, food is a reasonable option now,” Ricketts said. “Game day is a special experience for everyone who is there, and students are an integral part of that. Everything from the seating to the food options to the pricing should reflect that.
“One of our biggest priorities has always been looking out for every student, regardless of their socioeconomic background. You shouldn’t have to forgo getting food when all of your friends are.”
Sehlhorst said lowering concession prices is part of a larger effort by student government to create a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds.
“This falls under the larger topic of inclusion, which is something we’ve been broadly looking at along socioeconomic lines, issues of race, issues of gender and issues of sexual orientation,” Sehlhorst said. “These are all things that our campus has been exploring in much greater depth over the last three or four years.”