|Melbourne Cricket Ground | Austadiums|
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is arguable Australia’s greatest sports stadium with a rich history and a total capacity of 100,000. A major redevelopment of the stadium’s Northern stands completed in 2006 further enhanced the status of the famous venue.
The MCG is situated in the world-famous Melbourne Sports Precinct, just a short walk from Melbourne’s CBD, which also includes Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and AAMI Park. The ground primarily plays host to Australian Football and Cricket however other events including Soccer, Rugby Union, Rugby League and concerts are also staged at the venue.
The MCG 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 major 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. The stand received a comprehensive upgrade in 2012 to bring the standard of facilities up to the level of those in the Northern stand.
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. The annual AFL Grand Final and Boxing Day Test match, the 1992 Cricket World Cup Final, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, 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 100,016 for the 2010 AFL Grand Final between Collingwood & St Kilda. At various stages, the MCG has held world record crowds for AFL, Cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union and even Baseball.
The total capacity of the MCG is approximately 100,000, comprising of 95,000 seats and 5,000 standing room spaces. The playing arena is 174 x 149 metres from fence to fence. The ground is lit by six massive light towers, while lights are also situated under the stadium roof. Standing 75 metres high, the towers were built in 1984 and were first used for an event in February 1985. The MCG was the first Australian stadium to have a full colour video screen (the first was installed in 1982) and it now has the two largest video screens in an Australian Stadium. The two LED high-definition scoreboards are each 25.24 metres wide and 13.17 metres high or approximately 332 square metres and were completed in December 2013. There are also LED scoreboards situated below both video screens, positioned above level one.