This week LOCOG released Olympic stadium food and drink prices – bottled beers cost £4.20 and curries are £8.50. I’m refereeing a debate between Nikki Whiteman and Patrick Steen – how much is too much?
Nikki doesn’t think it’s that pricey
As soon as an Olympic press release goes out, journalists begin frantically typing words like ‘outrageous’ and ‘extortionate’ in anticipation of something juicy.
Some Olympic costs have had me spluttering with horror, but others are surprisingly reasonable. Although I’m sure some will hate me for it, I have to say that the prices don’t seem that bad to me. A curry and rice for £8.50, coffee for £2.60, or a bottle of Coke for £2.30.
OK, it’s not cheap – but claiming these could be bought in a corner shop for tuppence ha’penny doesn’t do us any favours. Comparing these prices to something realistic – like the cost of food at major festivals or the price of beer in London itself – shows a much smaller and more reasonable mark up.
I go to music festivals every year and although I love them, I’m often seen weeping into my wellies when I hand over five quid for a measly jacket potato. The prices listed for Olympic food seem either on a par with festival prices or – in some instances – a bit lower. The beer costs a pound more than if you buy the same at a pub outside the stadium, and is actually not much more expensive than a bottle of beer in central London.
Call me bourgeois, call me rich, call me careless with my money, but these prices – while high – aren’t ludicrous to a Londoner.
Patrick thinks it’s a bit expensive
My question is – why should Olympic nosh and grog be priced at the same level as festivals? I know it’s been an expensive event to build, but it has been paid for by taxpayers who have then had to fork out hundreds of pounds on tickets (that’s if they were lucky enough to get them).
The fact that they then have to pay over the odds for some fish and chips (£8) or a pint of beer (£4.20 for a 300ml bottle of Heineken lager) seems a bit rich.
If you extrapolate that bottle of beer to a pint’s worth, you’re looking at £7.23. Sure, a bottle is very different to a pint of beer from the tap, but when the average national price for a pint is £3.17, visitors are going to feel hard done by.
And let’s forget British nationals for a moment – do we want tourists to have the phrase ‘rip-off Britain’ leaving their lips as they exit the Games?
At least you’ll be able to fill your water bottle up for free at the stadium’s fountains (expect there to be a crowd – a bottle of water will set you back £1.60) and you may be able to take your own food if you can fit in your backpack.
Still, this is meant to be an Olympic Games for the people – rather than trying to race past the realms of reasonable pricing, why not make food and drink cheaper than the rest of London? Let’s make it a Games to remember for all the right reasons.
What do you think about the price of food and drink within the Olympic stadium? Do you back Nikki and feel they’re sensible, or are you on Patrick’s side and think they’re a bit steep?
What do you think of the food prices in the Olympic stadium?
I'm with Patrick - they're too pricey (for the Games of the people) (48%, 127 Votes)
I don't care - I'm fed up with the Olympics (42%, 112 Votes)
I'm with Nikki - they're not that bad (compared to other major events) (10%, 27 Votes)
Total Voters: 272