Food Inflation Has Officially Reached Ballpark Hotdogs

When it comes to baseball, you need only three things to make a good game: a winning team (obviously), a nice summer day, and of course, an all-American hot dog. But it's not always easy to have all of these things line up together perfectly. You can't even enjoy a ballpark dog anymore without having to put a noticeable dent in your wallet.

Baseball stadiums aren't exactly famous for their cheap prices. Whether it's a $12 beer or a $5 soft pretzel, you'll find the concession stands at even the stadiums of your most beloved team seem to be absurdly priced. Many factors can play into this, such as concession stand managers trying to compensate for the high price of renting a space at the stadium or trying to cover costs when the stadium and the team themselves take a cut of the profit. 

Inflation, while not in the realm of operating in a stadium, no doubt plays a key role in the prices of food and drink at the ballpark. Increasingly skyrocketing prices are making your food, from your favorite stadium food to the average hot dog, much more expensive. As inflation bares down on baseball like a line drive, many are doing their best to prepare against it.

Suppliers are expanding value menu items

Although you may think ballparks charge an absurd amount of money for hotdogs and beer, stadiums have no interest in letting inflation run the bases. If food and drinks become too high for the average ballpark-goer to even consider, that would be a massive profit loss for stadiums across the country. That's why, as CNBC reports, many food and drink suppliers, such as T-Mobile Park's supplier Sodexo Live, are taking steps to try and soften the impact of inflation on America's national pastime. 

Belinda Oakley, Sodexo Live's CEO, tells CNBC that a major step the company is doing to fight against inflation is that it's expanding its value menu, increasing the number of items from seven to 12. Included on this value menu are hot dogs, which have not only been affected by inflation but also by the rising prices of meat. By expanding the value menu and using the company's purchasing power, Oakley explains, customers may not feel the full effects of inflation.

But while work is being done to lessen the fallout of inflation on customers, some places will still be harder than others. A poll done by ESPN on ballpark food prices reveals that stadiums along the West Coast have been hit harder by rising prices. To purchase a hot dog at the Seattle Mariners' stadium would cost you $8 while purchasing Cracker Jack at the home stadium of the San Francisco Giants will cost an equally high amount.