Hefty prices for Australian Open food and merch amid cost of living crisis

The official Australian Open store at Melbourne Park is jam-packed with tennis lovers jostling to get their hands on some merchandise and willing to pay a hefty price for it.

The cost of gear linked to the first tennis major of the year is an annual point of discussion and this year is no different.

Two years ago it was the “ludicrous” cost of a $99 water bottle that made headlines.

Last year it was the Australian Open branded backpack selling for $449 and the canvas tote bag for $269.

If you want the gear, you have to be willing to pay for it. And punters were doing just that on Monday morning.

Inside the massive AO store adjacent to Rod Laver Arena, families queue for clothes, beach towels, hats, socks, tee-shirts, giant tennis balls and even a $439 water-repellent jacket from major sponsor Ralph Lauren.

The infamous water bottle lined the shelves but were without price tags. Online, they no longer cost $99 — this year you can get one for $50 or less.

Fine weather to start this year’s tournament means crowds piled in to the outdoor entertainment precinct at Grand Slam Oval to soak up the sun and the athmosphere.

You wouldn’t know we were in the thick of a cost-of-living crisis.

Food and drink prices around Melbourne Park and inside the arenas are as high as ever.

Keen to line up for a beer between sets? It will set you back $14.50 for 425mls in a plastic cup.

A glass of champagne from is priced at $29.50 — but there was hardly an empty seat at the Piper Heidsieck bar on the Rod Laver Arena terrace replete with signature red umbrellas by 11am on Monday.

A cup of gin and tonic from the Tanqueray pop-up is $14.20 and a humble 600ml bottle of water is $5.90.

Bringing your own food is not a bad idea, either. Inside Rod Laver Arena, a beef burger and chips costs $22.50.

A chilli cheese dog is $18.50, a falafel plate is $22 and a chocolate bar is $6.

There’s plenty on offer for high-end dining options, too, as some of the country’s best chefs take their talents to the tennis.

Read related topics:Melbourne

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