Small, premium beer is a money saver at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG — Want a deal on beer at the Trop? Longtime Tampa Bay Rays fans have some simple advice: Tailgate and drink before the game. But it can be hard to resist the lure of longnecks and frothy drafts. And if you're going to spend the money, why not go all out and get the large? You'll get more bang for your buck, right? Not necessarily.

"If I get the small, it'll probably be gone before I get to my seat," Tampa resident Christopher Parham, 60, joked at a recent game.

All jokes aside, the smaller size is the better deal per ounce. The St. Petersburg Times bought four cups of beer — Blue Moon at $9 for a large and $6 for a small, and Budweiser for $8 and $5, respectively.

The large cups for both beers are the same, holding about 18 ounces. A small delivered about 16 ounces of Blue Moon and about 13 ounces of Bud.

Break it down by ounce and the $6 Blue Moon comes out on top, 12 cents cheaper per ounce than its $9 counterpart. The $5 Bud is 6 cents cheaper per ounce than the $8 large.

Many are likely to buy a large, thinking it will last longer and cut down on refills. Confusing the matter is that many concession stands at Tropicana Field advertise the $8 cup of beer as a "best value," even though the $9, 24-ounce cans of beer sold in the stands are obviously a better value.

At a stadium, you also pay for convenience — staying in your seat, being able to pay with debit cards, or for the shortest line that gets you back to the game fastest. Some buyers will decide the differences don't matter.

Sara Gregory can be reached at (727) 893-8785 or sgregory@sptimes.com.

Premium draft

Regular draft

$9

About 18 oz.

$6

About 16 oz.

$8

About 18 oz.

$5

About 13 oz.

*Best value

* Best value

Small, premium beer is a money saver at Tropicana Field 06/27/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 5, 2010 12:01am]

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