In a stunning turnaround last night, the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots engineered a series of jaw-dropping drives to win Super Bowl LI in overtime, setting a record for the largest comeback in the history of the big game. But there was one thing about the Super Bowl that was almost as unbelievable as the 25-point deficit that the Patriots erased to earn the victory: the price of food and booze for those in attendance at NRG Stadium in Houston.
The Super Bowl is undeniably a super-sized event loaded with bells and whistles and an over-the-top halftime performance, but fans who wanted to watch the game in person (most tickets are reserved for sponsors) paid dearly for the opportunity. Sure, the average price of a ticket was $4,744 to Super Bowl LI on the secondary market, according to CBS Sports, but maybe more egregious was that Cheetos Popcorn cost $11 and a lemonade with a shot of booze in it was $15—or $30 for a double.
Bottled domestic beers were $12, and stadium go-tos like hot dogs and burgers ran $8 and $16, respectively. A 32-ounce soda in a commemorative plastic cup cost $11, and a bottle of water, $6. A burger, fries, and beer added up to $33. (For comparison, during the regular season a hot dog costs $5.75 at a Houston Texans game.)
Those are pretty nosebleed prices, but things were actually worse last year in the spendy San Francisco Bay Area, where the Denver Broncos met and defeated the Carolina Panthers. At that game, a glass of wine went for a gut wrenching $25, a domestic beer $13, and a bottle of water $7. They also had a crab sandwich on the menu that cost $20, but at least there's a hint of ambition there that might justify a higher price point.
Given how the game went, it's likely that fans were in a need of a lot of booze—especially the Falcons fans who were likely shocked at the last-minute shake-up. Unfortunately for them, most stadiums stop selling booze before the final quarter, just when they were probably beginning to look in earnest for a drink, price be damned.