It will now be cheaper to eat all the pies at Canberra Stadium with the ACT government set to announce on Friday a reduction in food prices for the upcoming NRL and Super Rugby seasons.
The ACT Brumbies’ clash against the Wellington Hurricanes at Canberra Stadium on Friday night will be the first to offer the cheaper fare followed by the Canberra Raiders’ first home game against the Penrith Panthers on March 5.
It follows a similar push in the AFL last year, where the MCG and Docklands cut their food prices ahead of the 2015 season.
Brumbies chief executive Michael Jones welcomed the move and said the price of food did come into families’ thinking when they were deciding whether to go to the football.
If a family of four was to buy two meat pies, two hot dogs and two buckets of chips it would now cost $27, $7 less than last season – a saving of more than 20 per cent.
Crowds have been declining for the Raiders and Brumbies in recent years, with both teams looking at ways to turn that around.
Jones said the price decrease could lead to more people going to games, although he said there were many other factors that also came into play.
“That’s a great outcome because it’s something the Raiders and ourselves have been pressing for a while,” he said.
“It started obviously with that initiative from the MCG and the AFL last year and we’ve been saying the cost of food and beverage [at Canberra Stadium] is high for the punter and we’re trying to provide better value.
“That’s what we’ve been harping on the whole time and … so we support that initiative and we’re glad that the ACT government – they’re doing a lot of things with us and the Raiders to bring people to the stadium.”
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said they had been working closely with the stadium’s caterers, Gema Catering, to bring about the price cuts.
He also said there would be new options introduced this year, including Mexican food.
“We know that the price of food at [Canberra] Stadium can be a restricting factor for many families coming out and supporting our local teams on a regular basis, so starting at [Friday] night’s game between the Brumbies and the Hurricanes food prices will come down,” Barr said.
Jones has been looking into the success of the Big Bash League this summer, which saw the attendances and television audiences go through the roof for the Twenty20 cricket competition.
While he said there were a number of unique factors that helped with the BBL’s success – such as free-to-air television coverage, a short season and school holidays – he felt there were some lessons the Brumbies could learn.
“There’s a whole bunch of stuff that is very different, but the way they’ve tried to make it fun is a big factor.
“Attractiveness of the game is something World Rugby and everybody is looking at – what do we do to make the game more fun?”
There will be free buses to and from the Raiders and Brumbies games throughout the year for anyone who has a ticket to the game.