Going to a major sporting event like the Stanley Cup Finals is an exciting experience for any hockey fan. However, one aspect that can be surprising is how expensive concessions like beer can be at big games like this. Fans are often shocked when they go to order their first cold brew and find out it costs $15 or more. In this article, we’ll break down the typical price of beer at the Stanley Cup Finals so fans know what to expect ahead of time.
The average price for a beer at the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals was around $15-17 per beer.
Beer prices at major sporting events like the Stanley Cup Finals are often inflated compared to regular prices at a bar or restaurant.
Factors like the venue, seat location, brand/type of beer, and cup size can all impact the final beer price.
What Goes Into Pricing?
The main reason beer and other concessions are so expensive at major sporting events boils down to basic economics – supply and demand. Venues know they have a captive audience of excited sports fans, so they can charge premium prices knowing people will pay them. There’s limited supply but huge demand.
Some specific factors that influence beer pricing at the Stanley Cup Finals include:
The venue hosting the event has significant control over pricing. They set the baseline costs for concessions like beer and food. Key factors like operating costs, overhead, staffing, and renovations impact the prices venues need to charge to be profitable.
For example, a brand new arena like T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas generally charges more than an older venue since they have big construction costs to recoup.
Where your seats are located in the venue also impacts how much that beer will cost. General admission and upper deck seats usually have cheaper concessions pricing compared to premium club and lower bowl seats. Fans sitting right on the glass can expect to pay the highest beer prices in the building.
This tiered pricing matches the ticket costs – fans pay more for the “premium experience” so vendors charge them more for beer and food too.
The specific brand and type of beer ordered impacts the price too. Most venues sell major domestic beer brands like Budweiser, Coors Light, and Miller Lite. These mass-market lagers are cheaper than craft beers from local breweries.
There’s usually a range of beer styles and brands to choose from. Fans have to weigh their tastes against the cost when deciding.
The size of the cup or can determines how much beer you get. Prices are usually based on per-ounce rates. This means a 24oz draft pour will always cost more than a 12oz can, even though it’s the same beer.
Ounces per serving ranges anywhere from 12oz cans up to 32oz or 44oz drafts. But just because that 44oz souvenir cup is large doesn’t mean it’s the best value. Doing a quick calculation of the per ounce cost will tell you which size gives you the most beer for your buck.
Stanley Cup Finals Beer Prices
Now that we’ve covered the factors that influence costs, what were some of the actual beer prices at recent Stanley Cup Finals?
2022 – Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche
The 2022 Stanley Cup Finals took place at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. Here were some of the beer prices according to fans in attendance:
- Coors Light – $17 for 24oz draft pour ($0.71 per oz)
- Blue Moon – $19 for 24oz draft pour ($0.79 per oz)
- Cheapest Can Beer – $13-$15 per 12/16oz can
These prices were a bit higher than previous years. The cheapest beer options were around $15 for a 12oz can of domestic beer.
2021 – Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
The 2021 Finals took place at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. Here’s what fans reported paying:
- Bud Light – $14-$17 for 24oz draft pour ($0.58-$0.71 per oz)
- Yuengling – $13 for 24oz draft pour ($0.54 per oz)
- Cheapest Can Beer – $12 for 12oz can
So a bit cheaper than 2022, with domestic beers starting around $12-14 and drafts in the $14-17 range.
2019 – St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins
The 2019 series took place at TD Garden in Boston. Known for having pricey concessions, beers were reported in the $12-$18 range:
- Sam Adams – $12 for 12oz can
- Bud Light – $14 for 20oz draft
- Goose Island IPA – $18 for 24oz draft
Once again the popular domestic brands like Bud Light were the cheapest options, closer to $12-$14 for a large draft pour.
Tips for Saving Money on Beer
If those beer prices seem ridiculously expensive, you’re not alone! Here are some tips hockey fans use to get their Stanley Cup beer fix without going bankrupt:
Look for Deals
Many venues offer special concession deals before the game or during warmups. This could be discounts on certain brands, sizes, or combo deals when you buy food too. Scope out all the pricing options early before settling on that $17 draft pour.
If that gigantic 44oz beer seems like overkill, get one and split it with your whole crew. Four people can easily share a large draft and save money collectively. You’ll still get a nice cold beer without paying for more than you can drink.
Upgrade Your Tickets
Check if upgrading to a premium seat includes free or discounted concessions. Some club packages come with drink vouchers or unlimited inclusions. You may actually save money after factoring in the free beer!
Join Loyalty Programs
Many beer brands and teams have loyalty programs for discounts. Sign up in advance and take advantage of special offers on your brews. Bonus if you strategically time bathroom breaks to hit up sponsored concession stands!
Some stadiums allow fans to bring a limited amount of beer in from outside. Make sure to check policies so you don’t get drinks confiscated! Sneaking in a six pack is much cheaper than buying from vendors.
Having a few beers at a nearby bar before entering the stadium saves you from buying as many rounds inside. Get appropriately lubricated for cheap then maintain your buzz at the game.
If the beer prices still seem absurd, skipping alcohol altogether is an option. Stay hydrated with free water or buy soda/specialty drinks which are comparatively cheaper. You can still have a great time sober!
Cheapest Beer in 2022
Based on the pricing data from recent years, the cheapest beer options at the 2022 Stanley Cup Finals were likely:
- Domestic lagers like Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite – $13-$15 for a 12/16oz can
- Domestic lagers – $14-$17 for a 20/24oz draft pour
- Soft drinks or water – $6-$9 each
Fans got the best bang for their buck sticking with the major brands like Budweiser in cans or drafts. Getting the smallest serving size available also helped control costs. Dodging premium craft beers, cocktails, and massive serving sizes made a big difference too.
Attending the Stanley Cup Finals and other major sporting events often means dealing with inflated concession prices. Beer typically costs $15-17 or more depending on the specifics. But fans don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a cold one thanks to deals, sharing, and smart decisions. With preparation and reasonable expectations, raising that cup in celebration can still happen without totally draining your wallet. Moderation is key!