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June 11, 2009

$8 Buds at 1st Mariner Arena

beer prices at 1st mariner arenaIf I'm at a concert (and I'm not reviewing it), I like to have a beer. Maybe two beers. Never any more than that, though.

I roll my eyes at people who get so smashed they can't remember the show. What's the point of going if you're that drunk?

Last night, I saw Fleetwood Mac at 1st Mariner Arena. Side note: So did Sun reporter Chris Kaltenbach, who has a live music review I'll post in a bit. 

At one point, I wanted a cold beer. I was stunned by the prices. If I'm not mistaken (and I've been mistaken a lot, you know), beers cost more at 1st Mariner Arena then they do at Oriole Park at Camden Yards ...

Look at these prices! $8 for a can of Budweiser! Granted, this is a 16 oz. can. But still ...

I was repulsed at first. But I did want to have one light, cold beer while I watched the show. I ended up buying a Stella Artois (for a mere $7), which I nursed for the rest of the evening. It was good, but not $7 good.

Those prices didn't seem to stop people from drinking beer, though. I saw plenty of folks double-fisting Buds on their way back to their seats. 

Yes, I know, it's a stadium, and stadiums can charge what they want for beer. But that doesn't make me any less shocked. I thought Baltimore was supposed to be fairly inexpensive. As far as arenas go, 1st Mariner is sadly outdated. I wish their drink prices were, too.

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:17 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music


And now you see why I don't go to ANY First Mariner Arena (or similar venue) events. I think last time I was at The Barns at Wolf Trap, they had a terrific beer selection that included Magic Hat and Belgium's Delirium Tremens, for less than that $8 per 12-oz. bottle (I think it was $8 for DT--which, if you're into that kind of beer, is a bargain in a concert setting).

I think the last time I was in a concert arena setting was a decade or more ago with Jethro Tull. Since then, every act I've wanted to see has comfortably fit in The Barns at Wolf Trap, the Birchmere (old, not new), the Rams Head in Annapolis, or Uptown Concerts (the folk music venue in Hamilton) or Baldwin's Station. Yes, that probably make me old enough to be Sam's father. And before you write me off as terminally old, I've also caught Black 47, the Roches, The Proclaimers, the Indigo Girls, and Boston over the decades.....

Can't you buy a six pack for those prices?

No one people get hammered beforehand.

It is amazing what they charge there. I was there for the final Blast game of the year. My wife waited 20 minutes at the stand (God bless her) because they had only had one open on our level, and paid a lot for the beer, and then the beer had diacetate (banana) taste because it had been sitting in the lines so long. I think First Mariner is old and funky, but the beer shouldn't be.

I think I paid $9 for a 16oz Stella draft at the REM show at Merriweather last year. A sixer of Stella runs $8-9, so yes Bud weis er. Could prolly get a 12pack of the domestic for that price.

Sorry Sturmy, but I sling beers at Merriweather and your $9 Stella was actually 24oz. High? Yes, but break it down to $4.50 per 12 oz and it ain't so bad considering you're in a concert venue.
It gets very old hearing people complain about the beer prices (especially since they still end up buying them anyway) considering us bartenders don't set the prices. Also, if you can fork out $9 for a beer, show your bartender some love and leave at least an extra buck - just like bartenders in actual bars, we do work for tips!

Sorry Merry, I was off 8oz. It's been a year. I slung drinks in college so I know what it feels like. As a result I always give the bartender at least $1, even if its for a glass of water.

actually i was at merriweather the other night for NIN/janes addiction, and while still overpriced, i was surprised to see 22oz. stellas for $9 and 22 oz. bud lights/buds for $8

for a concert i didn't think that was insanely bad. overpriced sure, but still cheaper than camden yards per oz.

Not to nitpick Ryan, but all of the draft beers at Merriweather are 24oz, so you're basically paying 9 bucks (or 8 for domestics) for the equivalent of 2 beers. Like you said it's definitely cheaper than both stadiums as well as many bars in town.

yah i couldn't remember if it was 22 or 24, but i do remember thinking it was cheaper than i anticipated for such a venue.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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