Looking at getting back in to the footy season, my mate Cass surprised me with his recent guide on what can and can’t be brought in to the footy. I never realised even big venues like the MCG let you bring in your own food.
So I put this guide together to help anyone else figure out what can and can’t be brought into the MCG. I’ve included details of food, drink, and even backpacks and eskis.
In summary, outside food can be brought into the MCG. Food cooked at home and commercially prepared food alike can be brought in to the MCG for an AFL match. Alcoholic drinks, cans, and glass bottles are not allowed. Other exclusions can be found below.
Here are some examples of what can and cannot be brought in to the MCG:
|Home made soup and sandwiches||OK|
|Mcdonald’s or Subway||OK|
|Thermos of tea or coffee||OK|
|Bottle of water or soft drink (must be sealed)||OK|
|Can of soft drink||NOT OK|
|Alcoholic drink||NOT OK|
I’ve included more details and more examples below. I’ve also included details of other things that can be brought in (backpacks are OK!) and things that can’t (leave the plastic horns and confetti at home). A few other items have some conditions if you want to bring them in, such as cameras, eskis, and umbrellas – I’ve included these below too.
Home Made Food
Home made food can be brought in to the MCG. This includes sandwiches, rolls, pies, sausage rolls, and anything else you’ve made at home.
There are no restrictions on the type of container or wrapping. The home made food can be wrapped in foil, cling film, or in a resealable container. If using something bigger like an eski, it should be able to fit under the seat in front and not cause nuisance to anyone else.
Baby food can be brought in. There is a microwave available in the Parent Rooms for heating up baby food and milk.
Commercially Made Food
Commercially made food can be brought in to the MCG.
This includes anything bought from the supermarket, or takeaway food such as Subway or McDonald’s. Even food that is already available inside the MCG can be brought in (hot chips for example).
I usually like to pick up a few snacks from home to bring in, a bag of chips and some lollies will do.
Here are some options for buying snacks and food on the way to the MCG:
- McDonald’s: Collins St (CBD, near Spring St) or 227 Church St (Richmond)
- Subway: 40 Exhibition St (CBD) or 222 Bridge Rd (Richmond)
- Fish & Chips or Pizza: Check out the options along Swan Street on the Richmond side
- Supermarket: Coles in Richmond (150 Swan Street), there are also a few in the CBD near Flinders St station
If you wait until you’re inside, there are over 12 shops selling food ranging from a curry to a pizza or a dim sim. I’ve found it typically costs between $4 and $20 to get something to eat: A meat pie costs $4.10 and a 600ml soft drink costs $4.20; a pizza or full meal costs more.
Soft drinks in sealed plastic containers can be brought in to the MCG. This means the bottle of soft drink cannot have been opened before it’s brought in to the ground. As long as the soft drink is in a plastic container that’s never been opened, it can be brought in. This includes small bottles of Coke from a convenience store, or even 2 liter bottles of Fanta from the supermarket.
Water can be brought in to the MCG if it is in a sealed plastic bottle. I wouldn’t bring in a sports water bottle or anything else that isn’t sealed around the lid.
A thermos small enough to fit inside a backpack can be brought in to the MCG. This means tea and coffee can be brought in.
Alcoholic drinks cannot be brought in to the MCG. Cans and glass bottles are not allowed either.
Backpacks and Bags
Backpacks and bags can be brought in to the MCG. If they are large and rigid, they will need to fit the rules: Can’t cause injury or public nuisance, and must be able to fit under the seat in front.
I found two of the MCG’s rules that apply to bringing in backpacks and bags:
- Can’t cause injury or public nuisance,
- Must be able to fit under the seat in front.
Eskys can be brought in, as far as I can tell, if they fit these rules. If the esky doesn’t cause injury or public nuiscane, and it fits under the seat in front, it should be ok to bring in. I’ve never tried myself, but I’ve seen people bring them in before.
A soft bag style esky would be easier to bring in than a hard plastic traditional one.
Cameras for personal use can be brought in to a footy match at the MCG. A camera on a mobile phone is a good example of this.
Commercial use film and audio recording equipment cannot be brought in. This includes camera tripods/monopods and large lenses (greater than 200mm in focal strength).
An exception is made for parents who are filming their kids playing in the Auskick competition. I think this rule means a camcorder is OK, but don’t expect to be able to bring in a film crew with high zoom lenses and professional gear.
Umbrellas can be brought in the the MCG according to the MCG conditions of entry.
While the MCG allows an umbrella to be brought in, an umbrella cannot be raised while sitting and watching a game. I understand this is because raising an umbrella to keep yourself dry would block the view of other fans (or injure someone!).
The MCG sells disposable plastic ponchos instead to keep dry. These are sold at most of the cafes and food stands throughout the ground.
I’ve included a link to the conditions of entry below (in the References) section if you’d like to read them all.
Full List of Excluded Items (don’t bring these in)
This is the list of everything that cannot be brought in to a footy match.
- Chairs or stools
- Glass or cans
- Opened plastic soft drink containers
- Torn-up paper
- Musical instruments or whistles
- Flags with long handles (greater than 1.6m)
- Fireworks, flares, or lasers
- Rollerblades, skateboards, scooters
- Animals, except assistance animals
- Audio recording equipment/video cameras (an exception is made for parents of Auskick kids)
- Camera tripods, monopods, or camera lenses with a focal strength greater than 200mm
- Radio scanners
- Any large article that cannot be placed under a seat
- Any device or object that in the opinion of management has the potential to cause injury or public nuisance.
- The carriage and operation of drones (or any such aircraft) is prohibited
I put this list together from the MCG rules and the AFL rules applied to MCG matches.
I feel the general ideas here are: Don’t cause nuisance to anyone else; don’t do anything that can interfere with the game; and don’t record the game with the intention to broadcast it.
Bringing your own food and water or soft drink into the MCG is OK, even if that food was prepared commercially. There are a few rules if you want to do it, such as making sure to bring in a sealed bottle, but in general there aren’t many reasons to not bring in a sandwich and some tea.
Interested in MCG membership? I wrote a guide to the steps and waiting times here: anybodysfan.com/become-mcc-member-guide/
- A guide my mate Cass put together listing the rules on what can and can’t be brought in to each footy venue around the country.
- MCG conditions of entry, including the list of everything that can’t be brought in (such as Any device or object that in the opinion of management has the potential to cause injury or public nuisance)
- Extra conditions of entry for the footy, as published by the AFL. There isn’t much extra in here, mostly a few more rules on filming and cameras.
- MCG family facilities, this is where I found out about the microwaves being available in the Parent Rooms (I don’t have kids myself, so haven’t been inside a Parent Room).
Chris is consistently overwhelmed by the size of the ‘G, how many people can fit inside, and all the ways it’s possible to get lost in there.