As you may have heard, the Atlanta Falcons are making concessions history with the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Their menu prices are laughably low (for the sports business world, that is): $2 bottomless sodas, hot dogs and pretzels; $3 pizza and waffle fries; $5 beers. And that’s not all: they’ve worked with partner Levy to increase their concession points-of-sale by more than 65% (the new stadium offers 670 total POS), improve cooking capacity with an eye towards increasing speed of service, and offer self-service soda refill stands to cut down on lines.

Why are the Falcons putting so much time and attention on concessions? The answer is simple: to improve the fan experience, and not just on a hunch. Using data from multiple studies, including the NFL’s annual Voice of the Fan project powered by Turnkey Intelligence, the Falcons identified food and beverage as a key – and under-performing – driver of fan satisfaction with the gameday experience. So… that’s where they focused their resources (among other places, of course) when preparing for the debut of their new facility.

This approach probably sounds like common sense to many of you, but it actually takes the convergence of many factors to accurately analyze survey data and then act in accordance with what that data suggests. Kudos to the Falcons for taking the time to pinpoint, and then make, the facility and service modifications and improvements likely to have the most significant impact on their fans (and we’re proud to have played a part in the process via our work with the NFL on the Voice of the Fan!).