The MCG will introduce significantly cheaper food and drink prices as of the start of the 2015 AFL season in what’s a big win for fans with some items dropping as much as 40%.
The iconic Melbourne venue announced on Monday a $14 million investment over the next seven years with its hospitality partner Epicure that’ll deliver affordable food and beverage items across all events. Some prices have not been seen at the venue for over a decade.
Stadium food has long been a hot topic with hefty prices causing angst amongst sports fans around the country. A priority of new AFL boss Gill McLachlan has been to make the sport more fan-friend, especially in Melbourne where crowds dropped in 2014, with ticket and food prices high on the agenda. While some issues were immediately fixed with ticketing, food was another story due to commercial agreements with venues and not the league.
Etihad Stadium were first with an initiative in late 2014, allowing fans to bring commercial food purchased outside, into the venue – something that had previously been banned. However the MCG are the first stadium to significantly reduce prices at outlets throughout the venue and the challenge has been thrown out to other stadiums in Australia to follow.
Popular items including pies, chips and hot dogs will be reduced by up to 40%. Previously a hot dog cost $6.50, in 2015 they’ll cost $4, while pies have been reduced from $4.80 to $4 and chips from $5.60 also to $4. The biggest reduction is a bottle of water – from $5 to $3, while healthier options will also be cheaper including salad from $11.50 to $8 and sushi from $6.80 to $5.
Other popular items include 600ml soft drinks, reduced from $5 to $4 and chicken schnitzel burger, reduced from $10 to $7.50. The price drops don’t apply to alcohol, however beer trays are now free (previously $1). A kid’s meal deal will also be available giving parents a cheaper alternative.
The new prices apply from April 1, starting with the AFL match between Richmond and Carlton the following evening.
“This is an unrivalled initiative in the venue industry,” said MCC CEO Stephen Gough at the announcement on Monday.
“In fact, we are reasonably confident that no major venue or sporting event in the world, other than perhaps Augusta National Golf Course, has or can match what we are offering today.”
While the new prices apply from the start of the 2015 AFL season on April 2, they’ll also apply for all events at the venue including the International Champions Cup soccer, State of Origin and domestic & international cricket. The last event to be staged with the existing pricing will be the Cricket World Cup Final on 29th March.
Time will tell if other venues around Australia will follow the MCG’s lead. Etihad Stadium is expected to make an announcement closer to the start of the AFL season, while Adelaide Oval announced on their Facebook page later today that they wouldn’t be dropping any prices.
They pointed to the fact the MCG hosts more than twice the number of the events than Adelaide Oval and that all revenue from events goes back into football and cricket. The redeveloped Adelaide venue sells chips and pies for $5, hot dogs for $6.50, burgers for $10.50, soft drinks for $5.30 and water for $5.
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