Ravens Lowering Concessions Prices To Improve Relationship With Fans
The Ravens will "lower their concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium" for the '18 season in the latest move to "try and improve a fraying relationship with their fan base," according to Jeff Zrebiec of the BALTIMORE SUN. The decision "was foreshadowed" by Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti at his State of the Ravens press conference in February. Bisciotti "acknowledged that the Ravens would take a 'hard look' at reducing concession prices." However, Bisciotti said to do that, the organization would "need to renegotiate its contract with Aramark, the official food vendor at M&T Bank Stadium." The move is "part of an increased effort to be more fan friendly" after a '17 season where the team "missed the playoffs for a third consecutive year." The number of empty seats at M&T Bank Stadium "became a major storyline, as did the fan response to the roughly dozen players who knelt during the national anthem before the team's game in London." Bisciotti and Ravens President Dick Cass have "acknowledged that the team has some work to do in winning back some fans." Cass has also been "extremely active this offseason meeting with sponsors, business partners and fan groups" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 5/15).
FOLLOW THE LEADER: ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley noted over the past few months the Ravens "invited fans to ask questions at a pre-draft news conference; held a question-and-answer session with fans at the team facility" with Bisciotti, coach John Harbaugh and Exec VP & GM Ozzie Newsome; and had Cass "meet and talk to fan clubs." The Ravens are "following the lead" of the Falcons, who dropped prices of concessions after moving into the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and "made more money." The Falcons "lowered prices on food and beverage" by 50% and fans spent 16% more (ESPN.com, 5/15). ESPN's Michelle Beadle asked of the prices, "How much are you reducing them by? ... If you're reducing a Coke by a quarter, I don't know that that's great." ESPN's Jalen Rose added, "If you reduce the price but not drastically, it just becomes a conversation item. Ultimately in sports, regardless of who's in uniform, if your team wins people will come to support" ("Get Up!," ESPN, 5/16).