Melbourne Accommodation

Sport and Sporting Events in Melbourne

Melbourne has some of the best sporting arenas and holds the most prestigious events in the Australian sporting calendar. The city's stadiums are close to the city, and it's quite usual to see the exodus of workers at 5pm heading not for home but for Melbourne Park, the MCG or the Dome to catch their heroes doing what they do best.

Throughout the year big events dominate Melbourne's calendar: the Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open, Boxing Day Test Match, the Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final. From 15th - 26th March 2006 Melbourne will host the Commonwealth Games (www.melbourne2006.com.au).

For all the glamour of the races, the international emotion of the Ashes and the suspense of the tennis, it's AFL that grips Melbourne. Fiercely parochial, territorial and partial, virtually everyone in Melbourne supports a 'footy' team to the point of obsession. Colours are flown from car aerials, pubs and suburban fences, provoking good-natured rivalry and banter. If it's all a mystery to you, you can join a tour of the grounds, media boxes and changerooms while an expert explains the rules. The experience should include a meat pie with tomato sauce and a cold beer, VB of course.

Known locally as the 'G', the Melbourne Cricket Ground (www.mcg.org.au) has occupied its present site since the mid 1850s, and hosted its first international match (against England) in 1862. Its hallowed turf also accommodates Victoria's own game, AFL, and, after completion of current building works, will have a spectator capacity of over 100,000. Apart from the Olympic stand built with state government funds for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, all development of the MCG has been paid for by members' subscriptions. So prestigious is membership, that there is currently a 12-15 year wait for restricted membership.

Annual Sporting events:

January – February Cricket One Day Internationals, MCG www.mcg.org.au

January Australian Open Tennis, Melbourne Park www.ausopen.org

February/March AFL Pre Season Cup, Telstra Dome www.afl.com.au

March Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park Lake www.grandprix.com.au

March – September AFL Premiership Season, MCG & Telstra Dome www.afl.com.au

National Rugby League, Olympic Park www.nrl.com

October/November Spring Racing Carnival (including the Melbourne Cup in November at Flemington Racecourse) www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/melbournecup/

December Cricket International Test, MCG www.mcg.org.au

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