Cheltenham is criticised for selling £7.50 worth of Guinness at a snooker tournament.
After it was discovered that a pint of Guinness costing £7.50 at race meetings was $1.50 more than at a snooker event held at the racecourse last week, Cheltenham’s drink prices have once again come under fire.
At the World Grand Prix of Snooker, which was held in the Centaur building at the racecourse, all pints were sold for less.
Cheltenham claimed that catering costs were lower for smaller events when defending the prices. On the other hand, racegoers on Twitter were unimpressed, with one saying that “racegoers blatantly being ripped off” was the situation.
A pint of Guinness, according to the Jockey Club, will continue to cost £7.50 for the March Cheltenham Festival.
A Jockey Club spokesperson said: “There are a lot more set-up costs with a major UK sporting event compared to a smaller and more locally resourced event. These costs are reflective of that. At the Jockey Club, any profits are reinvested into all aspects of British horse racing.”
The disparity in prices drew a response on social media. “It’s a joke, been going years for the week, [they’re] pricing proper racegoers out of it for the young day-trippers,” tweeted Duncan Murray.
“If it was freshly poured and made with care they could attempt to justify the price,” added Maurice Macken on Twitter. “The fact they have agency staff pour them and sit them on the back counter for the half-hour between races is just as scandalous as the price.”
The cost of a daytime ticket to watch the snooker match ranged from £29 in the early stages to £65 in the championship match. Saturday’s Cheltenham Trials day advance tickets cost between £12 and £26. On the first three days of the Cheltenham Festival, which begins on March 14, tickets range in price from £50 to £103, rising once more on Gold Cup day.
The Centaur has a maximum seating capacity of 2,250 and hosts comedy, music, and sporting events throughout the year.
In the Racing Post’s Racecourse Prices Index, the highest price for a pint of Guinness at any racetrack in Britain or Ireland was £7.50 at Cheltenham. The price was 50p more than Epsom, which came in second.
During the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, it was estimated that 265,000 pints of Guinness were consumed.
In the meantime, one of the town councillors has started a campaign to paint splash-back paint on all the walls leading to the racetrack to stop racegoers from urinating.
During festival week, Liberal Democrat Max Wilkinson launched his “war on wee” petition to combat antisocial behavior.
However, Cheltenham has launched a “Love Our Turf” campaign, which was tested at the November meeting, to address issues raised at that meeting.
The initiative, which was sparked by complaints from local residents, includes adding more marshals and toilets to the roads that leave the racetrack.
At the three-day meeting in November, no incidents were reported, and the local MP Alex Chalk and the chief inspector for Gloucestershire Police praised the first effort as a success.
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