Arts & Entertainment

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is considered as one of Australia’s great sports stadiums. With a rich history and a total capacity of 100,000, it is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light towers at any sporting venue.

The MCG is situated in the world-famous Melbourne Sports Precinct, just a short walk from Melbourne’s CBD, which also includes Melbourne Park (Rod Laver Arena & Hisense Arena), Olympic Park and the soon to be completed Melbourne Rectangular Stadium. The ground mainly plays host to Australian Rules Football and Cricket however other events including Soccer, Rugby Union, Rugby League and concerts are also staged at the famous venue.

The ground was built way back in 1853 when the then 15-year-old Melbourne Cricket Club was forced by the government to move from its former site because the route of Australia’s first steam train was to pass through the oval. Since that time, the MCG has seen many redevelopments with the latest completed in February 2006. The new Northern Grandstand is the 14th stand to be erected at the ground and replaced the existing Ponsford, Members and Olympic Grandstands. With a total capacity of approximately 55,000, it offers some of the finest facilities and viewing of any stadium in the country.

Occupying the southern side of the ground is the famous Great Southern Stand which opened in 1992. With a capacity of approximately 45,000, this structure set many benchmarks for the construction of sporting stadiums in Australia.

Many famous events have been held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Most famous of all is the 1956 Olympic Games in which the MCG was the main stadium attracting huge crowds for all events. Athletics has returned to the venue on one occasion since – the 2006 Commonwealth Games. AFL Grand Finals, the 1992 Cricket World Cup Final, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and Rugby Union Bledisloe Cup, Rugby League State of Origin and Football during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games are among other major sporting events held at the ground.

The record attendance at the MCG is 121,696 for the 1970 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and Collingwood. Since the Northern Stand redevelopment, the record is 100,012 for the 2008 AFL Grand Final between Geelong and Hawthorn. At various stages, the MCG has held world record crowds for AFL, Cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union and even Baseball.

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