Peter King is Sports Illustrated‘s great NFL writer/reporter. He also appears on NBC’s Football Night in America. The following is from his Monday Morning QB column on SI.com, which is not restricted to football, but all things King. King, by the way, is an Enfield boy. Enjoy.
So I went to Yankee Stadium the other night to watch Yankees-Angels. Pretty cold. In the bottom of the fourth, a vendor came by. “Hot chocolate!” he yelled. “Hot chocolate!”
I looked at his badge: Hot chocolate $10.
Sixteen ounces of chocolate-flavored water. Ten bucks. I went online to try to quantify the profit margin, and the best I can figure is the Yankees must be making about $9.15 profit on each hot chocolate sold. I looked at a bulk shopping site, nextag.com, and figured that bulk Swiss Miss would be 23 cents a serving, an insulated cup and lid a combined 6.5 cents, and let’s call the hot water 5 cents. And let’s say the vendor makes 50 cents per cup sold; I wondered via Tweet how much per vessel an average vendor makes, and the answer varied far and wide, but it seemed like 50 cents per cup was about the average that vendors get. If that figure is right — or close — it means the team makes approximately 91 percent profit on every sale of the watery cocoa.
Readers of this column know I’m a faithful follower of the Red Sox. And maybe the Yankees aren’t any different from many teams and many products all over sporting America. It’s just that, $10 for a cup of hot chocolate, I think we’d all agree, is over the top. Let me put it this way. Thirty-one years ago, I was an intern for the Cincinnati Enquirer and was lucky enough to get one of the paper’s tickets a few rows behind home plate to a Reds-Cardinals game at Riverfront Stadium, on June 16, 1978. That night, Tom Seaver pitched the only no-hitter of his career. Face value of the ticket: $8. In fact, the Reds didn’t have a $10 ticket in those days.
And that’s what I thought of when watching this vendor walk down our upper-deck aisle: I had the best seat in the house for a no-hitter, and that ticket cost less than a hand-warmer would run me on this night.