Inflation hits football fans in the tailgating wallet

Tailgate inflation for 2022 football season. Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium.
Tailgate inflation for 2022 football season. Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium.(KWCH)
Published: Aug. 27, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The college football season is finally here. You may be excited to see your favorite team back on the field, but you also may see your tailgating totals get more and more expensive.

Football season is ramping up, and so are the prices to tailgate, with inflation affecting everything from food to travel to ticket prices.

Chicken N Pickle Assistant General Manager Jeff Knott said, “The pricing obviously costs us more to get things. So, we have raised our prices recently. But you see a trend in people’s spending habits to where this is a special occasion for people rather than coming out every day.”

Knott said his restaurant is paying almost $15 more per keg than they’re used to, so that cost is reflected in the price per beer.

“From our distributors, we get it from the chain of command since Covid has hit everybody. Prices go up for us even to purchase the beer,” said Knott. “So, we don’t have to change our prices too much, it might just be a little bit per beer, but it’s nothing drastic.”

According to a Wells Fargo economist study, beer has been up 4.6 percent nationwide since last July.

If you’re hosting a barbeque, chicken, rolls, snacks, and pickles are all seeing double-digit increases. At the same time, grocery prices are up 13 percent from last year.

While people may have to pay a little bit more for a beer or a sandwich this football season, financial experts say avoiding the tailgate and staying local is a less expensive option while still enjoying a game day experience.

Even though there has been some recent relief at the gas pump, it still costs 23 percent more to fill up a tank than a year ago.

“By the end of the day, when you get there, you have to waste all your money on gas, obviously the parking and everything,” said Knott. “Those things you would be spending your money on, you can use it for things you like during the game instead of getting to the game.”

So, the most affordable option for watching a game? At home.

And if you’re grilling, propane prices have increased 22 percent from last year.

It’s an excellent time to upgrade the screen you watch the game on. TV prices are down 14.6 percent.

Ultimately hot dogs, pork ribs, and chicken wings are the gameday proteins that have seen the minor cost change, with wings dropping below pre-pandemic prices.