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MCG winds back the clock on food prices

Sports fans will be able to purchase popular food and beverage items at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) at prices not seen for a decade or more, following a new agreement that will set the MCG apart from every other Australian stadium.

Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), together with its hospitality partner EPICURE (Spotless Group), have announced a AUD$14m investment over the next seven years that will deliver fans an affordable, family-friendly food and beverage offering at all MCG events.

This means that prices of some products have dropped so considerably that they are consistent with what fans experienced at the stadium more than decade ago.

Prices will fall by as much as 40 per cent on a range of staple items such as Four ‘N Twenty meat pies, hot chips and Dons hot dogs. Healthy food alternatives, such as salads and sushi, will also be reduced in price.

Perhaps the biggest win for fans is that they will now be able to purchase bottled water at $3, compared to last year’s price of $5. This new price is consistent with what patrons paid for water back in 2001.

The new prices apply from April 1, starting with the AFL match between Richmond and Carlton the following evening.

MCC CEO, Stephen Gough, said:

This is an unrivalled initiative in the venue industry. 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 MCC has spent the last decade investing in its facilities (grandstand redevelopments), the environment (Yarra Park restoration and energy efficiency program) and technology (two state-of-the-art scoreboards and soon to be installed Wi-Fi, exterior lighting and IPTV screens), Mr Gough said it was appropriate to focus the next investment on affordability for fans.

An MCG kids’ meal deal will also be available, providing families with an affordable and fun alternative for feeding their children at the stadium.

Mr Gough explained:

We have listened to the fans, we understand their affordability concerns and we are very confident that this initiative will be extremely well received. This will take the MCG hospitality offering to a new level.

The renewed partnership has been driven by patron research and dialogue with key suppliers and stakeholders.

Ian Delmenico, Spotless general manager leisure, sport and entertainment, said:

We’re thrilled to work with the MCC to deliver food and beverage items at prices well below that of all other major stadiums in Australia. The items selected reflect diversity and choice. They are not only the most popular products, but also provide options for health-conscious fans.

While the new prices will apply from the start of the 2015 AFL season, they will be maintained for other MCG events in 2015 and beyond, including international and domestic cricket, State of Origin rugby league and soccer.

 

FYI: Our Q2 (formerly Summer) 2015 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine will include features on ‘The Top 6 Initiatives to increase a venues F&B revenues’, as well as Fan Engagement & Fan Enhancement: strategies & solutions’. If your company would like to participate in either, please email the Editor, Katie McIntyre, at: katie@aladltd.co.uk