Fans Sue Hockey Arena Over Deceptive Beer Cups

Large and Small beer sold at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho

I went to a Sabres game on Tuesday night with my boss. If you live in Buffalo, follow the NHL, or know anything at all about the Sabres, you know that we’re pretty terrible. On Tuesday against Nashville, we scored one goal in the opening minutes of the first period, and that was it. We lost 4-1. My boss and I were at the bar down the street by the end of the second period. When we got there and sat down, he said to me, “It’s like paying a $60 cover for $10 beers.”

Of course this isn’t the case if you’re seeing a good team, but he made a solid point. When it comes to concerts and sporting events, beer prices are just outrageous. And you don’t even have a lot of choices – they might have three regular and three light domestics. And the prices are outrageous. But if you want to drink, you gotta pay the price.

Typically, when you’re buying anything, the seller encourages you to get the larger size, as it’s more bang for your buck. A lot of times, this is totally true. Not so much at CenturyLink Arena in Boise, home of the ECHL team, the Idaho Steelheads.

CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho

Two Steelhead fans who were at the game this past weekend noticed something fishy about the beers they were buying. One had a large beer, purchased for $7, while the other had a small, which was purchased for $4. They realized the cups held the same amount of beer. Check out the video below for more.

On Monday, after this video went viral, the president of the Steelheads and CenturyLink Arena apologized on Facebook for the cup debacle.

“It was recently brought to our attention that the amount of beer that fits in our large (20-oz) cups also fits in our regular (16-oz) cups. The differentiation in the size of the two cups is too small. To correct that problem, we’re purchasing new cups for the large beers that will hold 24 ounces, instead of 20, for the remainder of this season to provide better value to our fans.”

The Facebook post wasn’t enough, however. Four fans are still filing a class-action lawsuit against the arena, seeking $10,000 in damages. (For more details on the suit, check out this article from ABC news).

Here’s what I think: firstly, I’ve written before about “cheater pints.” I’m not a fan. It’s false advertising. Secondly, plainly put, the cups seem to be the same size, the “large” is simply taller and slimmer than the shorter, wider “small” cup. I don’t blame fans for being upset by this. I wouldn’t like it either. But I wouldn’t go filing a lawsuit. The video promoted awareness, which caused protest, which then brought change. The large will be larger. All is well in the land of beer in Boise.

Although, even with the 24-ounce cups, it’s still cheaper per ounce to buy the small. But at least there’s an 8-ounce difference between the two sizes. And now everyone knows that. What do you guys think?

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