I know because I saw him. He was three sections to my left in the 4th inning, and two sections to my right in the 6th.
I watched him like a hawk between pitches, and saw him finish with his row, exit to the concourse, and then disappear completely on both occasions. Meanwhile, the cotton candy guy went up and down our aisle more or less constantly for 7 innings.
We were sitting in the 19th row of the upper deck, the park was completely full, and a hot dog just seemed like the right thing to have (call me crazy). But I knew it would take some time to climb down, that the line at the concession stand would be long, that the help would be essentially untrained, and that I'd probably have to miss an entire inning or more in order to indulge my appetite.
What's more, the hot dog would come out of a drawer -- not off a grill or even out of hot water. No part of this process interested me, so I simply went without.
For me, it meant that I remained unsatisfied, and began to fume somewhat. For the concession company it meant that I went home with $10 in my pocket that they could have gotten if only there were a second hot dog vendor roaming the upper deck.
Concession Economics at the Metrodome
(2005, all events/sports, in millions)
Paid to teams/tenants: $6.6
Paid to Centerplate: $1.1
Profit to MSFC: $2.2M
Mind you, this isn't the Twins' fault. They do not control the concessions at the Metrodome. Concessions are controlled by the Metropolitan Sports Facilites Commission -- the body which owns the Dome and was snubbed by the legislature in the creation of the new Ballpark Authority. Perhaps this snub was deserved.
In fact, concession control is one of the major upgrades the Twins are looking forward to in the new park. There they will have complete control over all aspects, including menu, pricing, signage and design, even how many people are out in the stands selling hot dogs. I have no doubt that they will do a better job than the company which does it now (Centerplate).
The numbers in the sidebar show just how little the Twins make on concessions. The $6.6 million paid to tenants is for all teams/tenants combined (Twins, Vikings, monster truck rallies, etc.). Even assuming that 3/4 of that goes to the Twins, that would come out to just $3.53 per fan at any given game (1.4 million fans in 2005).
That's insanely low -- especially given the outrageous prices. One suspects that the MSFC, Hormel and Centerplate are the ones making the real money in this arrangement. The new park will be a major improvement for the Twins.
But setting aside my hunger pangs, the dynamic of roaming vendors (also known as "in-seat vendors") is pretty important to determining everything from how many fixed concession stands you need to how many seats are appropriate for each row, and how many rows can fit between horizontal cirulation aisles. The fewer roaming vendors, the more space you need to allow for fixed stands, their long lines, and fans moving to and from their seats to spend money.
And the money part is the real issue, of course. The easier it is to spend money at the game, the more people will spend. It's that simple.
It's more fuel for those, like me, who vehemently dislike the Metrodome. There are 31 rows in the upper deck, with no horzontal aisles of any sort. Each row has from about 20 to 35 seats, with only skinny aisles at each end. (I'm choosing not to mention how cramped the leg room is, but this could be a subject for another entry.)
It would seem that economics alone would suggest that investment in roaming vendors would pay off very well. Since we have to live with the Dome for 3 more seasons, it would be great if someone at the MSFC would get on Centerplate, or just fire them and find somebody else.
Concessions at the Dome have been a problem since day one. No wonder the Twins were so adamant that they regain control in their new home. Whether it's hot dogs or walleye-on-a-stick, I'm looking forward to buying it right from my seat on a regular basis.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 2010.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Lots of work has gone into detailing the fronts of these decks. That is a little thing, but a NICE little thing. (HRP View)
The green in question (click for very large version)
Citi Field as viewed from Shea.
Hey! That limestone looks familiar!
Yes, TC is smiling.
Click to enlarge.
Rod Carew will greet you, but he's sorely in need of a home plate for reference. (Killebrew is too.)
We bumped into Jerry Bell (at right)!
The renderings and concept model differ here. MOJO thinks this is the perfect place for a party deck. Dave St. Peter seemed to agree!
This view looks through the opening in the fence where the crosswalk will be.
The Puckett Atrium
Thanks for all the hard work out there, Cold Safety-Line Dudes. (I'm glad that my job does not require safety lines...)
These tracks actually travel beneath the admin building and come out on the other side
A collection of support pillars for the left field pavilion.
A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.
I'll admit that this makes me nervous. It's pretty easy to step into the path of a train (which is true at various points along the line, but still...)
Ballark Authority members listen to the LEED introduction
Ballpark magic: Infield materializes (click to enlarge)
The plate marker is just to the left.
Ballpark elevation viewed from Seventh Street. (Click to enlarge.)
Here's a correction: The LRT platform will actually be able to load outbound trains from both sides.
Packed SRO beneath the notch.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
I'm not sure why there's a wreath on Gate 3. (I quickly checked the headlines for any dreaded Killebrew news. Whew.) It looks to be in celebration, maybe of the move.
From the roof of the B ramp, you can see just how futile it will be to get a glimpse of the action.
Looking up Seventh Street to the west
The glass area seen here is one of the warm-up areas.
Two concepts here remain in the final design. First is the oddly-shaped pavilion in center. Second is the section just above the right field fence. In the current design this section will hang over the field by a few feet. The original doesn't do that, but you can see that the concept goes way back in the planning.
Champion's Club moat (windows are found at the base of the limestone behind the seats -- not visible in this image)
Here's the current overview from the south side of the B ramp (from which the banner at the top of this page was culled).