Hot dog prices are up, but so are sales as Spring Training starts in Phoenix

As Spring Training begins across the Valley, expect to pay higher prices for food and drinks thanks to inflation.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 1:04 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — When spring training starts, the regulars show up at Chicago Hamburger Co. in Phoenix. “There’s people that I’ll see year in and year out,” said owner Bob Pappanduros. He’s been in business for 34 years, giving customers a little taste of Chicago and the ballparks he loves. “We dress them a little differently than a New Yorker would,” he said. “Or somebody from Detroit would, but absolutely they come in hankering for a hot dog, and we can take care of them no problem.”

However, persistent inflation is pushing up prices for supplies. “The cost of hot dogs, I pay almost $7 a pound for them now. They used to be mid $4,” Pappanduros told On Your Side. “I’ve had a few price changes but nothing to compensate for those kinds of increases.”

At Pappanduros’ place, a hot dog and fries will cost you $7.25. At MLB stadiums last season, the cost of a plain hot dog ranged from $2 Chase Field to $7.50 in San Diego and San Francisco, according to Statista. “It will be interesting to see how baseball teams handle the inflation at stadiums,” said Eric Mittenthal, the president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

According to the group, baseball fans eat about 19 million hot dogs at MLB stadiums every year, and now more regularly, people are buying hot dogs to eat at home as inflation puts pressure on so many families’ budgets. “A lot of people are turning to products like hot dogs that are a little bit more affordable than whole cuts of meat,” Mittenthal said, “And so hot dogs have actually grown a little bit in retail over the past year with the inflation pressures.”

As much as hot dogs go with America’s favorite pastime, so does beer. But beer is also getting more expensive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent consumer price index, the cost of beer you buy to drink at home is up nine percent this year, while beer in restaurants and bars is up almost six percent.

“Transportation costs is a big one which has inflated the costs at the stadium,” said Robert Taylor at Crescent Crown Distributing. “You’ll see that in any of the venues, whether you’re watching basketball, hockey game, spring training is no different.” Crescent Crown Distributing sells beer to all 10 of the Cactus League stadiums. They’re expecting fans to buy beer at all price points.

People that drink craft beer are going to pay the price for the craft beer, said the company’s venue supervisor Jonathon Sanchez. “The people that like domestic beers will drink domestic beers,” he said. Every stadium has a different order.

“You have your Arizona fans, you have your Colorado fans, they’re drinking Coors Light, and then you have your Dodgers fans that come into town. They drink Modelo, so it varies by fans,” Sanchez added. At Salt River Fields alone, Crescent Crown will deliver about 6,000 cases of beer and 400 kegs during the Spring Training season, according to Taylor.