The time-honoured practice of buying a pie and chips at the Melbourne cricket ground will cost fans under $10 due to price cuts across a range of food and drinks at the sporting arena.
The Melbourne Cricket Club has announced the price reductions as part of an “affordable, family-friendly food and beverage offering” at the MCG.
Admitting that fans were unhappy at having to fork out $5 for a bottle of water and more than $11 for a salad, the MCC has reduced prices on a number of items – but not the stadium’s signature mid-strength beer.
Hot chips will be $4 instead of $5.60, while a meat pie will drop from $4.80 to $4, meaning a pie and chips can be procured for under $10. A hot dog will also be $4, down from $6.50, while a chicken schnitzel burger will plummet from $10 to $7.50.
Drinks prices will also be axed, with a soft drink dropping a dollar to $4 and bottled water experiencing the biggest drop – down 40% to $3.
Healthy options (until recently an anathema) at the MCG are also coming down in price, sushi dropping from $6.80 to $5 and salad reducing by nearly a third to $8.
The new prices, which will apply from 1 April, are part of a new partnership with hospitality firm Epicure. The MCC said the move will set the MCG “apart from every other Australian stadium”, making it the cheapest place in the country to wolf down a pie and chips while watching the Big Bash or the footy.
“This is an unrivalled initiative in the venue industry,” said MCC chief Stephen Gough, rather grandly. “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.”
Gough said there would also be “fun” alternative meals for children. “We have listened to the fans, we understand their affordability concerns and we are very confident that this initiative will be extremely well received,” he said.
Beer prices will not be cut, Gough conceded.
“We’ve focused our attention here on the family, so alcohol wasn’t part of those considerations,” he said. “We didn’t think that alcohol should be something we’d be encouraging in sort of a ‘happy hour’ sense.”
Those who like to delight in a watery alcoholic beverage on offer at the MCG will be consoled, however, by the news that the trays used to precariously balance multiple beers upon will now be free, rather than $1 each.
This article was written by Oliver Milman, for theguardian.com on Monday 2nd March 2015 05.29 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010