Melbourne Cricket Ground -- The Spiritual Home of Australian Sport
Travel into inner Melbourne and you might be directed to the Australian version of the "8th Wonder of the World", the Melbourne Cricket Ground or MCG.
We usually refer to it as "The G".
This open-air stadium is the 8th largest stadium in the world.
It is also home to the worlds most famous cricket games and the infamous AFL Grand Final which fills the stadium to its capacity each year in late September.
Referred to as "The G Spot" by Madonna during her Girlie Show Tour in 1993, the MCG has hosted not only memorable music performances but is the primary platform for some of Australias most famous sporting events.
It is truly the "Spiritual Home of Australian Sport".
Melbourne Cricket Ground: Some History
Located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, the MCG broke ground in 1853 and was opened in 1854 by the Victorian Government as the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC). Its capacity is currently at a maximum of 100,000, limited by recent renovations and safety regulations. Until the 1970s, it was crammed with sometimes more than 120,000 people, a record crowd drawn in by Billy Graham in a religious event and the 1970 VFL Grand Final, which attracted 121,696 screaming fans to its stands. However, the MCGs most famous moment in history (wordldwide) was when the grounds served as the host stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games.
Melbourne Cricket Ground: Famous Moments
On September 30th 1854, the first cricket match was played, and by the 1880s the tradition of England-Australia cricket tours were well established. One of the most memorable incidents in test cricket occurred at the MCG during the 1854-55 England tour of Australia, when grounds man Jack House illegally watered a pitch to close up the match. A highlight was definitely in February and March of 1985 when the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket was played celebrating the 150th year of the Australian state of Victoria.
Melbourne Cricket Ground: Many Purposes
Though the MCG is called the Melbourne Cricket Ground it is predominantly being used for the most popular sport in Melbourne: Australian Rules Football. The year was 1869 and the first proper football match was played involving a police team on the grounds of the MCG. It wasnt for another ten years in 1879 after the Victorian Football Association was formed and the first official match was played and the cricket ground itself became a regular venue for the great sport. Since 1902, the highest attended, watched event the AFL Grand Final has been played at this famous stadium, an event regarded as the biggest in Australia.
The Melbourne Cricket Grounds serve as a staple in Australian tradition and heritage.
There is no question as to the importance this stadium has on the Australian people.
Outside stand forever statues of the legendary athletes who play both cricket and Australian Rules Football known as the Parade of Champions, a constant reminder of the greatness having taken place in this sacred stadium.
No doubt for decades to come we will enjoy the many historic moments left to be had.