Eating at the Footy: Complete Guide to Costs and Bringing Your Own

A complete guide to what food you can bring in to every AFL stadium around the country, and the food prices they offer once inside. I visited, researched, and even called every major footy venue to get some helpful details on what can and cannot be brought in to each footy venue, and how much it costs to buy food once you’re inside.

Footy crowd enjoying the match
I snapped a photo of the hungry crowd watching a match

There are few certainties in life: Death, taxes, and the ability of sporting codes across the world to gauge fans with exorbitant food prices at venues. The AFL in this regards is no different. The last few years however have seen venues make concessions as angry fans began to show resentment at poor quality food sold at ridiculously high prices.

I found it typically costs $4 to $12 to get something to eat inside a footy stadium, and $4 to $5.50 to purchase a soft drink.

I put this list of where you can bring your own food, and how much you can pay if you buy inside, to see how far venues have come to meet fan expectations.

In short, these AFL venues allow you to bring your own home made food:

  • Adelaide Oval
  • GABBA, Brisbane
  • Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
  • Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Optus Stadium, Perth
  • GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
  • Metricon Stadium (Gold Coast)
  • GIANTS Stadium, Sydney
  • Sydney Cricket Ground

There are some restrictions on what food you can bring in; venues do not allow alcohol and some don’t allow commercial food. Read on to find out details of these restrictions, and how much food costs if you buy it inside.

Adelaide Oval

I found Adelaide Oval has some of the most expensive food items across the country. They also seem to be increasing the price yearly.

Popular Items

  • Full Strength Beer (475ml): $9.50
  • Bottle of Water (600ml): $5.10
  • Meat Pie: $5.80

What you can bring in to Adelaide Oval

Small quantities of food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted into Adelaide Oval. This includes commercial food from other outlets and food made at home. I’ve found though that cans, eskies, and metal containers are not allowed so be careful how you store your food!

The Gabba, Brisbane

In 2011 the Gabba was under intense scrutiny as Queenslanders were paying the most for food and drink across the country, prices have stabalised somewhat, but prices are still highly inflated.

Popular Items

  • Cup of Chips: $5.90
  • Meat Pie: $5.00
  • Hot-dog: $6.05
  • Chicken Pizza (small): $12
  • Lamb Souvlaki: $12.50

What you can bring in to the Gabba

The Gabba does not allow food from other commercial outlets to be brought in; homemade food however is permitted. Alcohol is permitted to be brought in as long as it’s sealed in plastic bottles. This makes the Gabba different to most other venues.

Marvel Stadium, Melbourne

I found prices at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to have stablised in recent years, it seems prices have stayed the same since 2018. While still more expensive than its Melbourne counterpart the MCG, Marvel at least lets spectators bring in a wider range of food from outside the venue.

Popular Items

  • Meat Pie: $5.00
  • Large Chips: $6.90
  • Fish and Chips: $12.50
  • Fruit Juice (300ml): $5.50
  • Ice Creams: $6.50

What you can bring in to Marvel Stadium

Marvel Stadium allows patrons to bring in food from commercial out-letters outside the grounds; homemade food is also allowed. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought in from outside. In 2015, Marvel became the first stadium to allow patrons to bring commercial food in from outside.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The MCG have some of the better prices for food or beverages, unlike most of the stadiums in Australia. I found because of the reasonably priced food, and the wide range of options inside, I’m less inclined to bring my own food.

Popular Items

  • Hot Chips: $4.10
  • Meat Pies: $4.10
  • Water (600ml): $3.10
  • Soft Drink (600ml): $4.20
  • Hot Dogs: $4.20
  • Schnitzel Burger: $7.80

What can be brought in to the MCG

There is no restriction on what food can be brought into the MCG. Commercial and home made food can be brought in. No alcohol is allowed in, neither are cans and glass bottles of any kind.

My mate Chris wrote a full guide on what can and can’t be brought in to the MCG, including things like umbrellas and cameras. Check it out here:

Optus Stadium, Perth

The AFL’s newest venue Optus Stadium in Perth came under intense scrutiny upon its opening with numerous fans taking to social media with there displeasure of the price and quality of food and beverages. Unfortunately not much has changed as the stadium enters its third year, however prices will remain untouched for the 2020 season.

Popular Items

  • Water (600ml): $4.00
  • Beef Burger: $9.00
  • Large Chips: $6.00
  • Meat Pie: $5.20

What can be brought in to Optus Stadium

All food, commercial or home made, can be brought in to Perth Stadium. Alcohol is not permitted. Non-alcoholic beverages must be in plastic bottles.

GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Being the AFL’s only rural stadium, I haven’t had much of a chance to check out the prices there for the 2020 season. I believe catering is handled by the O’Brien Group.

What can be brought in to GMHBA Stadium

A small amount of commercial food is allowed, but an amount is not specified. Food can be brought from home in bags, however eskies are not permitted. Beverages can be brought only in plastic bottles, and alcohol is not permitted.

Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast

I found Metricon Stadium reportedly has some of the worst quality food amongst all the AFL venues. The home of the Gold Coast Suns doesn’t fair much better in price either.

Popular Items

  • Soft Drink (600ml): $5.55
  • Fish and Chips: $11.45
  • Meat Pie: $5.30
  • Mid Strength Beer (425ml): $8.60
  • Light Beer (375ml): $8.35
  • Souvlaki: $12.35
  • Fruit Salad: $5.90

What can be brought in to Metricon Stadium

Home made food can be brought in to Metricon Stadium, as can sealed non-alcoholic beverages up to 600ml. Commercial food from outside the stadium is not allowed.

GIANTS Stadium, Sydney

Catering at GIANTS stadium is outsourced with major brands such as Subway and Kebabish (it’s a Sydney thing) represented. GIANTS Stadium is one of the few stadiums owned and operated by a footy club, Greater Western Sydney in this case, which gives it different options for catering. I couldn’t find any details on price.

What can be brought in to GIANTS Stadium

Food from home is allowed, but commercial food from outside the venue is not. There are many commercial options available inside the stadium. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be brought in.

Sydney Cricket Ground

Like GIANTS Stadium the beautiful and iconic SCG has quite allot of commercial options inside the stadium, since the venue underwent a renovation in 2013, as such there is no set price list for basic items. Outlets inside include a range of options from pizza, Fish and Chips and Mexican cuisine along with popular brands such as the Noodle Shack, Pie Emporium and the Wok Hut.

What can be brought in to the SCG

There are no restrictions on what food can be brought in to the SCG. Commercial food can be brought in to the SCG. Soft drinks are permitted as long as it’s in a plastic bottle.

Bottom Line

From a young age It was drummed into me quite heavily by my dad and uncles on our weekly pilgrimage to various ground…make and take your own food to the footy! Footy prices are expensive, while the cost of admission is one of the best in the world for a sport of its popularity the venues and league make it hard for families to enjoy the footy at a reasonable price due to the prices of food and beverages.

While some of the venues in this article are well priced and with many options such as the MCG, SCG and GIANTS stadium, I would highly recommend bringing your own food to the footy to save yourself the frustration and obvious cost at buying inside.

As far as alcohol, the quality on offer simply is not worth the price, along with not being allowed to bring in your own alcohol to the majority of venues, I would advocate staying in the comfort of your own home in front of the TV if you like a drink while watching the footy.


Cass is a born and bred footy fan who often enjoys a snack while watching the game. He loves the game enough to run a moderately successful podcast called Anybody’s Game.


Cass was born with a football in his arms. From the moment he could walk he's loved playing sport, watching sport, and being a fan of any game he can play. Cass helped start Anybody's Fan to help fans enjoy their sport. He works to provide easy to read information and guides that help fans understand different strategies and terms of the game, and why coaches and players do what they do.

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