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See you in hell, Petco Park Beer vendors

April 2nd, 2008 by Conor Lastowka · 20 Comments

The San Diego Union Tribune is an empty shell of a newspaper, comprised mainly of content culled from wire networks and/or pieced together from discarded fortune cookies. Both my high school paper, TJ Today and my college paper, the Cavalier Daily, routinely contained more original content than any given issue of the UT. So when they develop a particularly hard hitting piece of Woodward and Bernstein style journalism, they want it right up front, where everyone can see it. So as I got bagels this Saturday morning, I was dismayed to see most of the above the fold section of the paper was devoted to the story “Ballpark Suds’ll Soak Ya

After double checking with family members back East who checked their front page and confirmed that yes, there was still an election, a war and an American Idol competition taking place, I sat down to read the article. Amidst the repeated spit takes, I learned that the Padres have raised the price of beer every year for the past four years, that a 16 ounce bottle of Stone Pale Ale will cost 9 dollars, (six pack price approx. 8 dollars), and that a 20 ounce draft of The King of Beers will set you back $8.50.

beer prices
Petco Park Beer Prices

Several fans are interviewed, with the main sentiment being “Sure it’s a lot of money, but it’s a ballpark tradition to have a beer!” The sound you hear as you read that is that of baseball owners rubbing their greasy hands together and muttering, “Yes…that’s exactly what we want you to think!” To further emphasize how drastically out of whack the prices are, they interview a bartender at Stingaree, a trendy club a few blocks away.


Pictured above are actual Stingaree patrons. Yeah, you get the idea. These ladies are paying less for a beer than you are at the ballpark. Allow me to emphasize: They are getting a better deal than you. How does that feel? On the other hand, they make up for it by having their boyfriend buy them 300 dollar “bottle service” vodka. But at least with that you get free mixers!

“So what Conor,” you are no doubt saying. “I’ll just go to a baseball game and not have a beer!” Unfortunately, this is impossible, and in some states, illegal. Alcohol was recently banned on San Diego beaches, and as a result, the number of games played of Bocce Ball, Horseshoes and Cornhole have plummeted to trace levels. Tattooed guys now wander the beaches, looking for something to throw in proximity to a target. They just aren’t as fun without beer, and the same applies to baseball. If you don’t want to end so desperate for a beer that you eat the dirt under the bleachers like Homer Simpson, here are some options for how to deal with the egregious beer prices at Petco Park

1. Neighborhood – A two for one happy hour on all local beers from 4-7, M-F. Located a few blocks from the ballpark. “Local beers?” you might scoff. “I heard that San Diego only had FIVE of the top SIX breweries in America, according to Beer Advocate Magazine!” Yes, this is our failing, and a deep shame, one we must deal with it on a daily basis. Get your beers here before their price increases by 400% inside the ball park and your selection is drastically limited!

Some of San Diego’s finest, half price at Neighborhood

2. Nalgene bottles – The colored plastic one. You’re allowed to bring your own water bottles in, and damned if everything doesn’t look like water inside a green or red Nalgene. The perfect crime!

3. Your pockets – Men have the ability to wear baggy pants with objects of all shapes and sizes bulging out of the pockets and waltz thru the security line, whereas women are forced to open up a purse the size of an Altoids tin for inspection. Put this discrimination to good use! I have friends who have the ability to conceal an entire six pack on their person on the way into the ball park. Some of the beers come thru warmer than others, but who cares! It’s free!

I’m sure that baseball fans in other cities have their own methods for avoiding the gouging, so let’s hear them in the comments!

Tags: baseball · beer · people conor will see in hell

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 RemmieBarrow on Apr 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Its good to see that your providing ways to put one over on the consession jerks over at ther local ball park.

  • 2 Amanda on Apr 2, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    A couple summers ago we went to a minor league game here in 90 degree weather and they actually confiscated my water at the gate! The lady said, “I know it’s hot out but you can get water inside.” Yes, but it’s water. I’d prefer not to spend $8 for it. That’s ok. The next time we went I bootlegged all our snacks in.

  • 3 Onil on Apr 2, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    “…next time we went I bootlegged all our snacks in.”

    That’s what I do for the movies. I shan’t be paying $4 for a tiny box of Reesey Pieces when I can get the same sized bag for like 89 cents at the grocery.

  • 4 DL Shakey on Apr 2, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I avoid the high beer prices by being 3 years too young to buy ballpark beer

  • 5 GMaupin on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:25 am

    I heartily recommend a tribute to Prohibition-era concealment – the garter flask in the sock. Be sure about the detector situation at the park first – I used to do this at Fenway, but this was in the relatively metal-detector-free 20th century.

  • 6 MSTJedi on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Then I’d say it would be smart to invest in a cheap plastic flask.

    At The Ballpark in Arlington . . . or whatever they’re calling the park the Rangers play at this year, they actually allow you to bring a small cooler with you as long as it can fit under your seat. Good times. There’s probably some ban on glass or metal containers, though.

  • 7 Bairman on Apr 3, 2008 at 5:11 am

    “These ladies are paying less for a beer than you are at the ballpark.”

    Well, duh. Those ladies have never paid for a drink in their lives.

  • 8 Amanda on Apr 3, 2008 at 6:16 am

    Damn straight! Oh they checked my huge purse all right. But not very well!

  • 9 R.A. Roth on Apr 3, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Actually the beer is only $1 but they charge $5.50 to $8.00 for the cup. I admire the high quality craftsmanship of a paper receptacle coated delicately with carnauba wax, and so should you.


  • 10 Rude on Apr 3, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Time to go all James Bond and make with the gadgets, kids:

    Fake Beer Belly that holds real beer:

    Cell Phone Flasks? Why yes, of course! And in many styles:

    Same for binoculars:

    How about a fake stadium cushion? Sit on your beer, right here:

    Sneaky shorts? Ewwww:



  • 11 Thad on Apr 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    “I have friends who have the ability to conceal an entire six pack on their person on the way into the ball park.”

    Or an entire Thanksgiving dinner into a movie theater. Right, Kevin?

  • 12 Tim on Apr 3, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Conor, should I mention anything about my Kansas City Royals starting off the season with a 3-game sweep on the road against he highly-touted, big-budget Detroit Tigers, limiting the vaunted mashers in the Detroit lineup to 5 total runs in 3 games?

    Nah, I won’t mention anything.

  • 13 Nan on Apr 16, 2008 at 6:06 am

    Here’s one solution too the high price of liquor at sporting events. Juliette Garter Flask Holders. That’s right, a sexy leg garter that discretely conceals three shots in the flask, which is included!

  • 14 Jedi on Apr 24, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Yep, those micro-brewers, which should also include Stone Brewing out there in SD, are way better than those overpriced usual suspects. I am tired of the mediocre macros. Thanks for giving love to the better brews in the area.

  • 15 ламинат on Aug 24, 2008 at 6:23 am

    6cThank’s.4s I compleatly disagree with last post . xux
    ламинат 2z

  • 16 ламинат on Aug 24, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    8bI’ll thingk about it.2j I compleatly agree with last post. qfe
    паркетная доска 1m

  • 17 cheap beer on Jan 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Im completely disagree with the last post.

  • 18 曲美 on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:41 am


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