Luxury: The Price of Pies at the Adelaide Oval


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This letter appeared in the Adelaide Advertiser on March 14 2014.

WHY are the football goers of Adelaide fretting about the cost of a pie?

Lasting three hours without a pie, or a fizzy drink, is hardly going to back up the RAH Emergency Department with fainting patrons.

Have we all gone down the survival gurgler?

Aged about ten, my best friend and I used to set out on our bikes and go on day-long adventures, to the top of Waterfall Gully, or to the wild hills above Burnside.

We each took one sandwich of cold, fatty, roast lamb with salt and pure butter, kept cool in big vine leaves and a brown paper bag, and one Woodroofe’s lemonade twist-top bottle, filled with tank water and sealed with a scrap of wax paper.

My father regularly took our family on Sunday drives in the Pontiac; and country tennis clubs, churches and schoolyards all had taps for assuaging a thirst in an eager hand. My grandmother’s trips to the city, wearing costume and brooch, gloves and a felt hat, were sustained by drinking fountains in the gardens, the lawn-clad and flowered City Gardens. With all our cash we are the poorer these days.

My grandfather, an old Port player, would take me to the first SANFL match every year, always at Adelaide Oval straight after the end of the Anzac Day march. My grandmother poured us tea from her Thermos, and as a treat, opened a packet of bought biscuits.

The memory of those custardy Yo-Yos, one each of course, still makes my tongue sing. Now we ask for so much, and enjoy not much at all.



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EDITORS NOTE: As mentioned in the comments below take-away food at Etihad is indeed becoming cheaper, as Tom Cowie reports in The Age. 

Etihad Stadium CEO Paul Sergeant said the focus of the cheaper food and water was about bringing families back to the ground, particularly on Sundays. Included in the offering will be free popcorn and fairy floss for children. He pointed to other fan-based initiatives being implemented in the off-season by Etihad Stadium, including free Wi-Fi.

“There’s been a lot of comment about the affordability of going to games around the country, we’ve been working very closely with the AFL,” he said. “We’ve looked at what we can make affordable and focused on those key footy items: hot chips, water and pies.”

Read Tom’s full report in The Age HERE




  1. You were lucky! We used to live in a paper bag in a septic tank……

  2. Septic tank?


    In mah day, we ENVIED those who lived in a septic tank…

  3. We used to go bird nesting and snake hunting at the Mordialloc Sewerage Farm – now Braeside Park Wetlands. There was plenty of water, the dairy farmers used to grow maize for their cows and the market gardens supplied us with fresh carrots and lettuce. If the farmer was out we’d sneak into the dairy and drink the milk from the cans if it hadn’t been collected.

    We saw a few people living in paper bags at the sewerage farm, but we didn’t have much to do with them. Although we’d always share our maize lettuce and carrots.

    BTW, pies were 6-pence then. That’s 5 cents in the new money. That’s in the shops. We never had enough spare pocket money to buy them at the footy. You could buy freshly roasted peanuts outside the ground in little paper bags, and there was usually a hotdog vendor boiling up an urn full of saveloys. They’d be sold in real creamy white rolls too. None of this wrap around bread bizzo.

  4. Go Marg. Stick it up these spoiled whipper snappers. At Subi last Sunday I couldn’t believe the queues for deep fried turds at $8 a pop. As always the Avenging Eagle baked muffins in the morning and we took a thermos of freshly brewed coffee and a bottled of filtered water from home. The girl in front of me came back with a plastic cup of beered down water for her bloke and a thimble of chateau plonk for herself. I felt like telling her I hoped she drank half on the way back to her seat otherwise she got dudded for quantity. Wonder if she got change out of $20?

  5. Etihad got news time last night – must have been Channel 9 – on the reduction of the price of pies. They will be $3. Bargain. And you can get a cherry ripe for about $8.

  6. Dave Brown says

    Yep, Margaret Minney takes the title as my favourite ’tiser correspondent.

    The great thing about $3 etihad pies for punters is that they get to be a part of the full life cycle of a race horse.

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