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Falling attendances behind plans to increase F&B prices at Adelaide Oval

Falling attendances behind plans to increase F&B prices at Adelaide Oval
September 17, 2019

Blaming declining attendances resulting from poor performances by both local AFL teams, the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA) is to increase cost of food and drink at the venue.

Criticised in the past for the high cost of its F&B offerings, the venue is looking to increase per capita spend as a result of falling AFL and cricket attendances.

The AOSMA Chair, former South Australian Governor Kevin Scarce, revealed the pending price increases at a South Australian Parliamentary committee looking at the controversial $42 million luxury hotel development at the ground.

Rear Admiral Scarce told the committee that while a final decision had not been made, price rises would be kept to a minimum, with details to be announced in November.

He advised “(attendances) go up and down depending on timing, performance (but) my expectation is that any increase in price will be well below the costs charged by our suppliers."

Rear Admiral Scarce suggested that prices at the venue remained competitive compared to similar venues, pointing out a full-strength beer at the Gabba cost $10.30, while in Adelaide it is $9.50.

According to an AFL price guide provided to the committee by the SMA, the oval has the most expensive pies of any stadium, but has the cheapest hot dogs, coffee and small soft drinks.

An AFL 2019 price guide showing the comparison in prices at the Adelaide Oval and SCG. (Supplied)

While the Gabba has the most expensive beer, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) leads the pack in most other categories.

It was revealed that part of the cost pressure came down to a significant drop in attendance at cricket and AFL matches at the oval this year, with Adelaide and Port Adelaide both failing to make the finals series.

As reported by the ABC, Rear Admiral Scarce said attendance at AFL matches dropped by 50,000 over the course of the season, Big Bash League crowds were down about 11,000 per match, and last December's cricket Test against India drew 90,000 fewer patrons than the Ashes.

He blamed poor performances by the Crows and the Power, along with bad weather, for the drop in football attendances, saying the venue had already cut staff through natural attrition to rein in costs.

Beer, soft drink and food prices at Adelaide Oval have been a constant source of frustration for fans, with then South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill accusing the AOSMA of "fleecing" supporters in 2016.

AOSMA Chief Executive Andrew Daniels "I can't comment on what the pricing will be but I can say that we are absolutely aware of the issue of food and beverage pricing.

"I'm sorry that they pay increases, I have to pay increases, everybody has to pay increases as costs go up.

"The reality is a fabulous asset like the Adelaide Oval is incredibly expensive to maintain, to run, to upkeep."

Artist's impression of the hotel planned for the eastern side of the Adelaide Oval. (Supplied)

South Australian Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll said the decline in attendances over the past 12 months strengthened the business case for the hotel, stating “this hotel will help to provide a better financial position for the oval.

"This is a great asset but it does have some frailties … we cannot continue to rely on record crowds to make sure that the oval functions properly."

Rear Admiral Scarce told the committee construction was on track for to be completed next July, and start taking bookings in September.

Noting that fluctuations in attendance were only to be expected, and helped to illustrate why the AOSMA has decided to build the hotel, he concluded “this is why it's so important to have a diverse revenue stream so that you can match those periods of down with constant revenue.”

Related Articles

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4th March 2019 - Quayclean Australia secures Adelaide Oval cleaning contract

23rd February 2019 - Adelaide AFL clubs critical of lack of communication and transparency by Adelaide Oval management

22nd February 2019 - Adelaide Oval considers expanding roof attraction with zip line

12th December 2018 - City council objects to Adelaide Oval hotel proposal

27th November 2018 - Hotel to be integrated into Adelaide Oval

20th October 2018 - Sound enhanced at Adelaide Oval’s Riverbank Stand

4th September 2018 - Adelaide Oval to launch in-stadium golf experience

25th August 2018 - Further AFL fan violence prompts Adelaide Oval investigation

2nd August 2018 - Permanent bollards boost external safety at Adelaide Oval

22nd July 2017 - AFL flare incident fuels Adelaide Oval security concerns

23rd November 2016 - Adelaide Oval bows to pressure and cuts F&B prices for Test match

21st November 2016 - Outcry over increased F&B prices at Adelaide Oval

27th June 2016 - Research shows sports fans fed up with stadium food

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