Fans sue Boise arena because “large” beer is same size as “regular” (video)


These Little Creatures beers in Australia all are the same size. And they look delicious. (Carla Gottgens / Bloomberg)

In a lawsuit that is going to prompt measuring experiments among members of the beer-drinking segment of the sports-going public — which is to say, almost all of it — hockey fans in Idaho contend that they were the victims of fraud when they were sold a $7 beer that purportedly is larger than a $4 beer.

Four fans are seeking $10,000 in damages in a suit filed against Block 22 LLC in Boise District Court, according to the Associated Press. At CenturyLink Arena, where the Idaho Steelheads play, Brady Peck, Michele Bonds and William and Brittany Graham contend that a tall, narrow cup labeled a “large” holds the same amount as a shorter, wider cup called a “small.”

“While different shapes, both cup sizes hold substantially the same amount of liquid and are not large versus small in actual capacity,” attorney Wyatt Johnson wrote in the lawsuit. “Defendants knowingly sold each of their beers in a similar manner at each event held at the arena where beer was sold for at least the last five years.”

The fans settled on the $10,000 amount after carefully calculating the number of games attended times the amount of brew consumed, on average, per game. Resolution of their lawsuit may take time; another fan found that a response came more quickly with a YouTube video. It doesn’t take Matlock or a mad scientist to solve the mysterious ways in which fluid ounces work.

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From the AP story:

Gwen Gibbs, who posted the video, told the Idaho Statesman that she was annoyed when she saw her boyfriend, Heath Forsey, pour the large beer into the smaller cup and so decided to upload the video. CenturyLink officials announced a short time later that the company would purchase new cups for the large beers that would hold 24 ounces instead of the previous 20 ounces for a bigger difference in size.

At the time, Eric Trapp, the president of the Idaho Steelheads hockey team and CenturyLink Arena, wrote on the team’s Facebook page that the company had ordered 16-ounce and 20-ounce cups and never intended to mislead customers.

“It’s amazing what can be done with one little video and the power of social media,” Gibbs told the newspaper, joking that she hoped CenturyLink would rename the 24-ounce cups the “Heath and Gwen size.”

It just goes to prove that the one of the very real prices of beer-drinking is eternal vigilance because the same thing happened at Qwest Field in 2011 and was revealed in a YouTube video (via Deadspin). Stadium management fixed the problem, in which 20-oz. and 16-oz. cups held the same amount of beer but the 20-oz. size cost $8.50 ($1.25 more than the 16-oz. size).

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What are the chances this is happening in lots of places? Stay vigilant, suds fans.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · March 13

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