Nothing’s better than a cool, refreshing drink, unless of course it’s poured in a fun, plastic stadium cup. It could come with a signature drink at a restaurant or with your expensive beer at a ball game, but no matter what, these souvenir cups are always exciting to receive.

So without further ado, let’s talk about stadium cups. You’ll find out what they are, how you can use them, and how to reuse them when they’re old and gunky!

What is a Stadium Cup?

A stadium cup is a plastic piece of drinkware that’s typically decorated with some kind of design or text. These cups are used as souvenirs at sports games, restaurants, weddings, family reunions, and a whole lot more!

Take for instance the Chicago Bears cup pictured here, which was part of a promotional deal at Soldier Field. You could buy the cup with your soda, and get free refills the rest of the game.

Where Are Stadium Cups Used?

You’ll probably see stadium cups at any place where drinks are served. They’re commonly found at:

  • Sports stadiums & arenas
  • Zoos & theme parks
  • Bars & restaurants
  • Entertainment venues
  • Weddings
  • Baby showers
  • Family reunions
  • Picnics & barbeques
  • Holiday & birthday parties

Sports Stadiums & Arenas

Hit the concession stand and buy a souvenir cup full of beer or soda. You’ll feel better about the cost of the drink, plus the cup will come in handy for the post-game tailgate!

Zoos & Theme Parks

Zoos, theme parks, and resorts often sell stadium cups at their concession stands or gift shops. People who visit these places love to bring home a keepsake, and cups often get more use than keychains or stuffed animals.

Bars & Restaurants

If you’re celebrating the holidays at a bar, your drink might be served in a stadium cup instead of traditional glassware. Restaurants also use stadium cups, most commonly for their kid’s meals.

Entertainment Venues

Concert halls, theaters, bowling alleys, and arcades may serve their drinks in souvenir plastic cups. This is commonly associated with some kind of promotional deal.


Congrats on your big day! Now that you’ve got the cake, flowers, and venue all set, the next step is making sure you have awesome favors for your guests. You can’t go wrong with plastic cups that are printed with your wedding date and initials.

Baby Showers

Serve punch and water in stadium cups that are personalized with your baby’s name. These cut down on dishes during your shower and look cute on the table with the rest of the treats!

Family Reunions

You’ve got matching t-shirts for your entire crew, but how about something to hand out to the family after the reunion? Plastic cups are super inexpensive and easy to order in bulk.

Picnics & BBQs

Whether you’re having a company barbeque or back-to-school picnic, you can’t go wrong with stadium cups. All you need is to fill a few coolers with ice, and you’re good to serve those drinks!

Holiday & Birthday Parties

Sip that eggnog or juice in style with reusable plastic cups. They may not be as classy as champagne flutes, but whatever you’re on a budget! Keep them near the drinks.

Stadium cups are excellent souvenirs and favors, whether it’s for your business or for personal reasons like a party or wedding. They’re inexpensive and easy to customize!

Can You Use Stadium Cups for Hot or Cold Drinks?

Unless it’s insulated, you can usually only pour cold drinks into a stadium cup. Hot drinks, like coffee and tea, will melt the plastic and possibly ruin your cup!

Pour any of the following into your stadium cups:

  • Water
  • Juice
  • Milk
  • Lemonade
  • Iced or sweet tea
  • Soda
  • Energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Cider
  • Slushies
  • Punch
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies

You can also use stadium cups to hold food like popcorn, fruit, chips, and even ice cream. Overall, these cups are great to have on hand for your afternoon snack!

Do Stadium Cups Come with Lids & Straws?

While it’s not always the case, some stadium cups come with a lid and straw. This style of drinkware is particularly useful at restaurants as it helps the kids (and messy adults) avoid spilling their drinks!

It’s easy to confuse stadium cups with tumblers, which also have lids and straws. The main difference comes down to the material. Stadium cups are always made from plastic, whereas tumblers could be made from metal or even glass.

How Many Ounces Are in a Stadium Cup?

The average size for stadium cups is about 16 ounces, but they can be smaller or larger. 16 oz. is a manageable amount to carry around since these cups don’t always come with a lid.

Are you curious to see the different ounce sizes available for stadium cups? Check out this chart!

If you think about stadium cup sizes in terms of bottled water, it’s easy to see how much you can pour inside. For instance, a typical 16 oz. stadium cup will hold one bottle of water, whereas a 32 oz. cup will hold two bottles. Keep this in mind when you’re ordering stadium cups in bulk!

Most experts recommend drinking between 75 and 200 ounces of water every day. That’s somewhere between 4 and 13 refills in your stadium cup!

What to Do With Old Plastic Cups

All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately that sometimes holds true with plastic stadium cups. The more you use them and run them through the dishwasher, the more brittle and cracked they can become over time.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can reuse your old plastic cups! Give any of these ideas a try:

Organize Clutter

Keep pens on your desk, hold hardware like nails, screws, and washers, or store your makeup brushes. No matter what you do, an old cup is handy for organizing all those small odds and ends.

Start a Garden

Add some greenery to your space by growing a plant in a stadium cup. This is an easy way to spruce up your home or office, all while cutting down on waste!

Hold Paint

It can be super messy to work with paint! Keep your colors separate and avoid any unnecessary splatter by holding everything in old stadium cups.

Light Up the Party

Cut a hole through the bottom of your plastic cups and wrap them around the bulb on string lights. This is a particularly fun look to try at college parties!

Collect Tips

Do you work in the food industry? Keep a stadium cup on the counter for tips. Bonus points if the one you have out is printed with your restaurant’s name or logo!

Clean Between Tiles

It’s not always easy to get in between the tiles in your bathroom or kitchen. Pour lukewarm water into a stadium cup, mix in some dish soap, and use a toothbrush to scrub away the gunk!

Scoop Pet Food

Your dog is ready to eat! Fill up their bowl using an old stadium cup as a designated scooper. Just remember to avoid those puppy dog eyes when they want more food!

Turn Them Into Toys

Encourage your kids to play! They can stack old stadium cups together, or use them while playing with a kitchen set. There are really no limits to their imagination!

Wrap Gifts

Fill a stadium cup with tissue paper and cover it with wrapping paper! You now have a cute little gift holder that works well for gift cards, candy, and other small trinkets.

How Do You Customize Stadium Cups?

Do you want to order custom stadium cups for your wedding or gift shop? Reach out to a screen printing company to get started!

Here are some design tips to keep in mind before ordering:

#1: Pay Attention to Quantity

Find that sweet spot where you’re ordering enough stadium cups for everyone, but not so many that you have a bunch left over. Get a head count before your event starts so you can figure out a good number to order.

#2: Have Fun With the Colors

Stadium cups come in all kinds of bright colors and cool styles, such as frosted, paint splattered, or color changing! Look around and find something that catches your eye!

#3: Stick with 1 Ink Color

If you choose a good color for the cup, you can get away with using just one ink color. This saves you money in the long run, and it’s all you really need anyways! Notice how the Rainforest Café logo pops in white against this green stadium cup.

Why just stop at stadium cups? You can personalize all kinds of drinkware and accessories like wine glasses, beer steins, coasters, and everyone’s favorite, custom beer koozies!

The Bottom Line

People don’t talk about stadium cups as much as water bottles or coffee mugs, but maybe they should start! This drinkware is just as valuable and also makes for some truly excellent gifts or souvenirs. Fill up your stadium cup!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.