The food on offer at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is set for a major shake up, and not everyone is happy about it.
Celebrity chef Guy Grossi will headline a new restaurant at the MCG, along with a revamped overall menu to be served up to fans.
The Herald Sun reports a new-look menu will be announced this week with the goal of bringing the best of Melbourne’s foodie culture to the famous stadium.
Grossi will transform the exclusive MCC committee room into a mini Italian restaurant, which will serve President’s Club lunches and functions at the ground.
In a welcome move, non-MCC members will be able to dine at “The Committee Room by Guy Grossi” during the week, while it will also operate on days when the footy isn’t on.
The restaurant will open on March 10 in time for the start of the AFL season.
While footy food classics including pies and chips will remain, the MCG’s culinary offering will change under the MCC’s new hospitality partnership.
Longstanding favourites Red Rooster and pizza chain Crust have been given the flick and will be replaced by several new eateries such as burger joint Royal Stacks and Gami Chicken.
Footy fans were taken aback by the announcement, with many furious they will no longer be able to get a chicken and chips from Red Rooster when they go to an AFL match at the MCG.
Sports broadcaster Adam White tweeted: “No more Red Rooster at the MCG? I thought they wanted to get the crowds back to the MCG, not have more stay away!
“They’ll replace it with trendy inedible food to cater for the minority I’m sure. A sad state of affairs. Keep it simple, please …”
SEN’s Nic Negrepontis said: “No Red Rooster at the MCG anymore. Disgrace. Nobody wants $70 gourmet meals at the footy. They want $70 chicken and chips.”
But many argued having more gourmet food options at the footy is a good thing and if people want Red Rooster they should just go to one of its standard outlets.
Journalist Lav Baj tweeted: “Everyone getting mad about the MCG getting better food is out of line.
“I went to AAMI Park the other day and they were serving cannolis during the football and honestly that’s living the dream, if you ask me.”
The Twitter account of the satirical footy podcast Junktime AFL joked: “No more Red Rooster at the MCG. The AFL cruelly shutting down the last remaining store in Australia where you could buy chicken and chips.”
Sports reporter Vince Rugari added: “For years people have complained about the absolute cr*p food being offered at Australian sports venues.
“Now they actually do something about it and you people are literally crying. Godless country.”
The MCG’s revamped menu comes after billionaire restaurant magnate Justin Hemmes’ Merivale took over catering duties for the Sydney Cricket Ground this summer.