Co-op Live beer and burger prices branded 'absolute joke' by some

The massive new Co-op Live arena, which opened its doors to the public for the first time last night (April 20), has already come under fire from some people who have been shocked by the food and drink prices advertised - with a beer setting you back an eye-wateriing £8.95.

Though some people had their tickets cancelled for the test night of the new £365m arena just hours before they were due to go in, some of those who made it inside to see Rick Astley found themselves confronted with an £8.95 Guinness and an £11.50 burger. While many people bemoaned "London prices" at large arena venues, one incensed reader said they had found "cheaper beer at the ABBA Arena in London!" While going on to call beer prices in the city "an absolute joke these days."

For non beer drinkers, a double vodka and Coca-Cola before a gig will set you back £11.50 before you head in, while a bottle of wine will cost £35. A non-alcoholic gin and tonic is priced at £11.50. But, as some Manchester Evening News readers pointed out, the typically high prices can be avoided with some pre-planning, with Lisa joking that she "will be nipping to the 'Big Asda' Cafe for my burger first."

READ MORE: The Manchester twins who will be first act to perform at new £365m Co-op Live Arena

However, seasoned arena attendees were not bothered by the prices, with many sharing their tips to save money. Reader Sarah said: "I would simply eat before and not go mad on drinks whilst there.

"It's no secret venues charge more, just like AO arena."


Lisa added: "Don’t give them the opportunity to rip you off, it’s up to you at the end of the day! Feed the family before you go!"

But for some people, Co-op Live's £11.50 burger was a call to direct action. Graham said: "As long as people keep agreeing to pay the ridiculous prices these venues will continue to charge stupid amounts.

"If people would just simply stop paying then they’d have to change. It won’t stop until we stand up against it."

Although, one reader was able to find a more neutral perspective on the almost £9 beers, with Deborah saying it was still "cheaper than the London O2 when I went in March."

The Founders bar inside Co-op Live Arena in Manchester -Credit:MEN
The Founders bar inside Co-op Live Arena in Manchester -Credit:MEN

An ambivalence matched by others who had already been broken by other arena prices around the UK, with Mark saying they were "normal arena prices" and that the price tag is all part of an arena tour where many are "happy to pay as part of the experience."