The price for a night out at Coleman Coliseum keeps adding up  


CW / David Gray

Fans wait in line to pay the raised Coleman Coliseum concession prices of the 2022-2023 season.

Nick Robbins, Contributing Writer

There is nothing quite like sitting down in your favorite stadium and grabbing a bite to eat. Whether their preference is a hot dog, a beer or some popcorn, fans love to be able to eat classic stadium food while watching their team play.  

The atmosphere in Coleman Coliseum across the arena’s three tenants has been fantastic. The University of Alabama men’s basketball team is in the midst of a historic season, sitting atop the SEC standings and being ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll. Women’s basketball has put together a 20-win season with an 11-4 record at home. Gymnastics is dazzling during Friday night lights with a 6-4 record, spending the season in the top-10 of most rankings.  

But as fans gather to support all three teams, they can’t help but be disappointed with the quality and cost of the food and drinks at the eight vendors offered. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Coleman Coliseum and other UA sporting venues  have made massive changes to their food and drink options over the past couple of years — changes fans are not happy with.  

A cheeseburger with no side will run you $14.49 at the World of Beer stand near the student section. At the same stand, a giant German pretzel costs $13.99, which doesn’t include the side of beer cheese, which will cost you an extra $3.49. Beer cheese nachos cost $9.99 but they can barely pass as nachos; for that price you get a bag of chips and a side of beer cheese to dip it in.  

“The prices are way too high for a mediocre product,” said Andrew Price, a senior majoring in geography. 

The World of Beer stand isn’t the only offender of high prices. Dixieland Chicken charges $14.49 for chicken tenders and fries. Dixieland Chicken cheese fries cost the same price as tenders, while chili cheese fries cost $11.99. Nachos here will run you $7.99, and a hot dog costs $5.99. Souvenir sodas across the concourse cost $9.99 without a refill while a bottle of soda costs $5.99. A bottle of water saves you a dollar fifty at $4.49.  

“Way too expensive for the lack of quality given,” said Jalynne Parker, a senior majoring in finance. 

In addition to that, dessert and other snacks are pricey. Popcorn costs $6.99 for a small-sized box while a box of candy will cost $5.49. New to Coleman this year is Dippin’ Dots, a fan favorite. Fans can choose from three different flavors each costing $7.49. For an interesting comparison, the same sized Dippin’ Dots cup is $6 at Truist Park, home of the MLB’s Atlanta Braves. The Braves also offer a larger souvenir ball cap that comes with Dippin’ Dots for $9.  

The combination of the high prices and lack of quality are driving fans away from purchasing food and drinks in the arena. Coleman also lacks a rewarding factor in the purchase, such as a souvenir ball cap with the Dippin’ Dots. This has led many fans to seek options before or after the game, like Joseph Marlow, a senior majoring in business management.  

“You could buy a Cookout meal for the price of a single cheeseburger in Coleman,” Marlow said.  

The catalyst for these changes was the University’s partnership with food and concessions company Levy, which was announced in 2018. Before the company took over, concession prices had actually been lowered by $1-2 per item. But now a 16-ounce domestic beer costs $8.99 while a 20-ounce premium beer costs $9.99. The cost of beer reflects the prices in Bryant-Denny, but the rollout of alcohol sales has not been smooth, with some fans reporting being charged the premium price for a domestic beer.  

Coleman Coliseum’s prices stand tall amongst its fellow arenas in the SEC. Neville Arena, home to Auburn, offers $3 hot dogs, $4 popcorn, $5 pretzels, $2 water bottles and $8 for a burger and chips. Fans save $6 on a burger and get a side with their purchase.  

Within Humphrey Coliseum, home to Mississippi State, prices are similar. A burger and a 44-ounce souvenir cup each cost $4. Bottles of water, hot dogs, popcorn and nachos are $2 each.  

The Pavilion at Ole Miss is considered by many to be the SEC’s best arena for food. A cheeseburger basket that comes with fries costs $10, while “bottomless soda” is $6, and a bottle of water is $3. The Pavilion also stands atop many people’s SEC arena food lists due to having a Raising Cane’s and a Steak ’n Shake within the arena.  

The revamp of the food in Coleman has also angered fans as a fast-food staple, Chick-fil-A, was removed and replaced by Dixieland Chicken — the fast-food chicken restaurant is popular among students and compared to other food options was reasonably priced, costing $9 for an original chicken sandwich.  

The removal of beloved options and their overpriced replacements have left fans confused and disappointed. Fans are wondering where their money is going and why the quality is poor.  

“You have to pay millions of dollars just to get a bottle of water in Coleman,” Lawson joked. “The prices are this high for food, yet we can’t afford to build a new arena.”  

While Lawson may be exaggerating a bit, it is clear the new prices and choices in Coleman have left fans wanting more.