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Ball Don't Lie

The Phoenix Suns have the most expensive beer in the NBA, weirdly, while Spurs and Thunder brew the cheapest

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Mr. and Mrs. Shane Battier enjoy a cold one (Getty Images)

At 19-39, tied for last in the Western conference and on their way toward a third straight postseason-less season, the Phoenix Suns would seem to be in line to give their fans a break. Something to help the team escape its Michael Beasley-rich experience. Something to warm the taste buds, as you prepare to shovel a nacho or 12 down your throat. Something that doesn’t cost, in a small NBA market, nine bucks.

Tough hops, Suns fans, because the average price of a beer at a Phoenix Suns game costs $9, tops in the NBA – tied with the massive market New York Knicks. Cork Gaines came through with the findings on Wednesday, and you can find your team’s ranking here, at Business Insider.

[Also: Stephen Curry scores career-high 54 points at MSG]

The Suns’ arena doesn’t list its beer options on its website, so we’re left to hope that the team offers an amazing array of craft brews well worth the nine buck price tag. And, to be fair, the stadium’s Yelp reviews laud the staff and, recently, a vegetarian sloppy joe option at the arena’s hot dog stands. I have a hard time even downing a meat-filled sloppy joe, so I’ll have to pass on making much comment on that particular vegan-friendly fare. One reviewer did mention that beer vendors did not have a placard advertising the actual beer prices. Now we know why.

Of course, the Suns are owned by notorious penny-pincher Robert Sarver, an owner that dealt away Steve Nash’s best chances at a championship in Phoenix and didn’t mind revealing (just months after signing Josh Childress to a ridiculous mid-level exception contract) that his wife told him during the 2011 NBA lockout to bring the death knell of the mid-level exception home from New York in a designer luxury bag. Also, after wielding one of the bigger swords in shortening the awful 2011-12 NBA season, he whined about not getting the starry Miami Heat in Phoenix that year. Drink up, Phoenix. Don’t mind the maggots.

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The president enjoys an eight dollar beer (Getty Images)

What is surprising is Gaines’ findings in relation to the other major sports:

The average cost of a small draft beer at NBA games this season is $7.08. That is up 1.7% from last season ($6.96). For comparison, the average beer in the NFL is $7.28, in Major League Baseball it is $6.10, and in the NHL the average beer is $7.07.

The NFL, in our opinion, values profits over player safety in a number of ways that go beyond the recent batch of brain injury concerns. With that in place, the NFL only has eight regular season home games a year with two exhibition games prior. It’s true that NFL capacity multiplies the size of NBA and NHL arenas several times over, but that 8.5-to-1 game ratio and relative to NBA beer price is somewhat impressive. Especially considering (or, explaining) the amount of shirtless dudes outside in December.

What’s warming more than the previously stated findings is that the two most entertaining teams in basketball – the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder – offer the lowest beer prices of any team. The Miami Heat may be the championship favorites, but they lose points not only for their tardy fans but an annoying public address announcer and the second-highest (tied, with Washington and Boston, at eight bucks a brew) beer prices in the NBA.

The Thunder and Spurs are on a fast track to yet another Western conference finals showdown, one that hopefully will go beyond the six games we saw last year between each team. It’s true that two beers (excluding tip, and please tip) during one of those games will cost you as much as that 30-pack of cans you used to buy in your early 20s, but you also weren’t allowed the opportunity to see Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook in person, going back in forth, in your apartment’s living room back then.

Not a bad deal, Spurs and Thunder. Cheers.

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