The Melbourne Cricket Ground - The MCG

Smart Cleaning Solutions CEO Nicholas Pastras is writing a series of articles about Melbourne and the unique blend of sport, dining, natural beauty and arts attractions that help make Melbourne the world’s most liveable city. In this instalment, he talks about the MCG, one of his favourite places in the world.

Established in 1853, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is commonly referred to as the MCG, and is colloquially known by Melbournians as “the G”

The MCG is arguably the most famous sporting ground in Australia and it is synonymous with AFL and cricket. It is the home of Australian Rules Football, which began its association with the ground in 1859, when the AFL was known as the VFL, or Victorian Football League. It is also the birthplace of test cricket and one-day cricket, in fact the first ever one day international was played between Australia and England at the MCG in 1971.

The first test match between England and Australia was played in 1877 at the MCG– (which Australia won by 45 runs). The second test between the two nations was played in 1882 at The Oval in England, which Australia won again, and this inspired the British newspaper “The Sporting Times” to publish an obituary that English cricket had died and that the body was cremated and taken back to Australia. This was the beginning of “The Ashes” which is arguably the most famous and notorious sporting contest between two nations anywhere in the world, and is certainly the most famous contest between Australia and England in any sport.

The MCG is always the venue for the Boxing Day test match, which is played every year on the Ground between Australia and a touring test certified cricket nation. The boxing day test match always and begins on the 26th of December.

The MCG was also the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games. It is also the home of the Australian National Sports Museum, which documents some of the most famous sporting moments in Australian history.

The MCG is a very modern sporting stadium and it has great internal entertainment precincts, which are full of bars and cafes, particularly in the AFL and MCG members reserves. With a seating capacity of approximately 100,000 patrons it is the largest sporting stadium in the Southern Hemisphere.

The ground has been the scene of the biggest sporting events and crowds in Australian history. The record for the highest ever attendance at the ground is was set in 1970 at the VFL Grand final between Carlton and Collingwood which was attended by 121,696 people. Since the ground has been developed so that it is a totally seated stadium, the highest crowd on record was recorded for the 2017 AFL Grand Final between Richmond and Adelaide, which 100,021 people attended.

MCG is located within Yarra Park and is a short walk from the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.

Read next article on great places in Melbourne, which is about Flemington Racecourse, the home of The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most famous horse race.