The Suns are 20-39 this season and according to ESPN are 24th in the NBA with an attendance of 15,169 fans per game. It doesn’t help the fan experience, however, that a recent study by FanCostExperience.com found that U.S. Airways Center sells the most expensive small draft beer in the NBA. Only the New York Knicks sell beer as expensive as the Suns, as both franchises mark a cold one up to $9.
The NBA average for a small draft beer is $7.08, according to that study. But “small” isn’t very specific.
According to a December study by by SaveonBrew.com, the beer at U.S. Airways is actually a an average deal. That $9 is apparently a 24 oz. beer, bringing the Suns’ beer to 38 cents per oz., which is right on the league average. Apparently, Denver has the best deal at 26 cents per ounce while the Lakers top out at 75 cents per ounce.
The asterisk in the title of the chart above leads to a subtext reading that the data came ” via Team Marketing Report and is based on information reported by each team during a survey.” That makes the study appear lazy at best, as the size of the “small draft beers” vary throughout the NBA.
Editor’s note: A Suns spokesman said the team does sell 16 oz. beers at $5 at some places in the arena, and the average price in U.S. Airways comes to $6.82 per beer.
Anyway, this seems to put away the validity of the newest report, and the eye test makes me think this older study is more accurate. Either way, the newest report has created some bad pub toward the Suns organization, which can’t be good for the franchise already struggling on the court.
However, it did get got some other bloggers to share their kneejerk reactions after seeing Phoenix tied with New York for having the most expensive brews. In a season where smiles are hard to come by for Suns fans — the win Wednesday night in San Antonio might have elicited one as well — these types of things are probably good for the fan base. TheProBasketballTalk.com writes the following:
Are you serious, Phoenix? $9.00 for a small beer? …
… the Knicks are in first-place in the Atlantic Division. Folks really want to go see those games. The Suns are 19-39 (woof). Their fans need to drink alcohol if they’re going to take in one of those contests live and in person. Don’t punish their wallets along with their team pride. If I were a Suns fan I would be putting down so many Miller Lites at those games I’d be arguing with the people behind me about which Morris brother is better looking.
USA Today’s Chris Chase tried to talk through why the price would be so high in Phoenix:
Initially, I had a grand theory that because Phoenix is landlocked, it’s harder to get beer there. And other landlocked cities, like Denver, have breweries nearby, so I was pretty proud of myself, like when I destroy the categories on Teen Jeopardy! But a Google search for “why is stuff expensive in Phoenix” turned up nothing, so those mysterious $9 beers at Suns games will have to stay that way.”
For what it’s worth, SaveOnBrew.com’s study of the other sports teams in the Valley showed that University of Phoenix Stadium and Jobing.com are, like the Suns, middle-of-the-road in beer prices. Chase Field’s prices are actually the best in MLB at 29 cents per oz.
So beer prices: A monumental problem in our era? No. A funny topic to let the mind wander from a struggling team? Yes.