EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to see the Super Bowl shuffled into MetLife Stadium Sunday, and they were greeted with $20 hot chocolate.
"I've never seen such a rip-off," said Brandt Tobler, 26, who declined the opportunity to fork over an Andrew Jackson for some cocoa. "I'm used to paying a dollar. Maybe $1.99."
One concession worker (who said she was paid $15 per hour for Sunday's 18-hour shift) said the standard MetLife price for hot chocolate was $5. "They raised the price at the beginning of the season," said the worker, "and we thought that was for the Super Bowl. But they raised it again."
There were other exorbitant prices on Sunday, including $13 for chicken nuggets, $14 for "premium can beer," $7 for a brownie, $6 for a knish and $6 for bacon on a stick.
"I pay that for two pounds of bacon at home!" said one Seahawks fan.
But the eye-popper was the $20 hot chocolate in a souvenir cup, and yes, some paid up.
"It's warm chocolate," said Jeff Dye, 30, of Seattle. "It cooled off because they couldn't find enough people to pay for it."
Asked why he paid $20 for hot chocolate, Dye said, "I heard it was $40 down the concourse, so I figured it was half-off."
There was a cheaper option: hot chocolate without the souvenir cup was only $11. One concession worker said she was encouraged to sell the $20 cups before going to the cut-rate version. But Gary Frost of Colts Neck, N.J., got a deal: $23 for one hot chocolate and one coffee.
"It's the Super Bowl," he reasoned. "I brought $500 to spend. Just have fun."
He said the hot chocolate was "delicious."
Another concession worker said he had sold $1,000 worth of the stuff in less than two hours.
Tobler still wasn't having it – literally. "I don't know if I could pull out $20 for that," he said. "It would have to be for a hot girl."