It's not just your imagination, Giants fans, and now it's official. You pay more for beer than fans at any other park in baseball.
An annual fan cost index from Team Marketing Report ranks all 30 Major League Baseball teams on ticket prices, concessions, parking and other fan costs for attending a ballgame. And to the surprise of no one in the Bay Area, AT&T Park gets the dubious No. 1 ranking as serving the most expensive beer in the big leagues.
Hey, some body has gotta pay for that Barry Zito contract.
That $8.75 you pay for a 20-ounce beer is more than any other team in baseball in America charges -- by a full 75 cents. The stadium serving the second most-expensive beer is the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field, charging "just" $8 for a 20-ounce beer. But that's a franchise that has to overcharge for beer, because they can't get anyone to pay admission and come to their games.
While AT&T Park topped the most-expensive list, it is actually a far worse rip-off to buy beer at Boston's Fenway Park. Fenway Park came in third with a $7.25 beer -- but that $7.25 only buys you a 12-ounce beer. That's almost half as tiny as the beers you can get at a Giants game, and the same amount of beer you'd get in one measly can from a standard American six-pack.
The cheapest beer served in Major League Baseball is a $4 14-ounce beer served at the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field. The average price of a beer in an MLB ballpark for the 2009 season is $5.93 for a 16-ounce beer.
In their defense, the Giants do offer an impressive selection of imported and domestic beers, including San Francisco micro brew fave Anchor Steam. But next time you're muttering about how much those beers cost at AT&T Park, realize you really are paying more for those beers than fans are at any other ballpark in North America.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks it's about time they revived Ten Cent Beer Night.