The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known simply as “The G“, is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria. Home to the Melbourne Cricket Club, it is the 10th largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest cricket ground by capacity, and has the tallest light towers of any sporting venue. The MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is served by Richmond and Jolimont stations, as well as the route 70 tram and the route 246 bus. It is adjacent to Melbourne Park and is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.
The MCG was the home of Australia’s first full colour video scoreboard, which replaced the old scoreboard in 1982, located on Level 4 of the Western Stand, which notably caught fire in 1999 and was replaced in 2000. A second video screen added in 1994 almost directly opposite, on Level 4 of the Olympic stand. In 1985, light towers were installed at the ground, allowing for night football and day-night cricket games.
In 1988 inspections of the old Southern Stand found concrete cancer and provided the opportunity to replace the increasingly run-down 50-year-old facility. The projected cost of $100 million was outside what the Melbourne Cricket Club could afford so the Victorian Football League took the opportunity to part fund the project in return for a 30-year deal to share the ground. The new Great Southern Stand was completed in 1992, in time for the 1992 Cricket World Cup, at a final cost of $150 million.
The 1928 Members’ stand, the 1956 Olympic stand and the 1968 Ponsford stand were demolished one by one between late 2003 to 2005 and replaced with a new structure in time for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Despite now standing as a single unbroken stand, the individual sections retain the names of Ponsford, Olympic and Members Stands. The redevelopment cost exceeded A$400 million and pushed the ground’s capacity to just above 100,000. Since redevelopment, the highest attendance was the 2018 Grand Final of the AFL with 100,022, followed by 100,021 in the 2017 Grand Final.
From 2011 until 2013, the Victorian Government and the Melbourne Cricket Club funded a $55 million refurbishment of the facilities of Great Southern Stand, including renovations to entrance gates and ticket outlets, food and beverage outlets, etc., without significantly modifying the stand. New scoreboards, more than twice the size of the original ones, were installed in the same positions in late 2013.
|Location||East Melbourne, Victoria|
|Coordinates||37°49′12″S 144°59′0″ECoordinates: 37°49′12″S 144°59′0″E|
|Owner||Government of Victoria|
|Operator||Melbourne Cricket Club|
|Record attendance||100,022 – 2018 AFL Grand Final (post-configuration)121,696 – 1970 VFL Grand Final (pre-configuration)|
|Field size||171 m x 146 m|
|Construction cost||$150,000,000 (1992 Southern stand redevelopment) $460,000,000 (2006 Northern stand redevelopment)|