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Australia is world-famous for its sporting successes, and no sports venue in the country is more iconic than Melbourne Cricket Ground. Millions of sports fans visit this legendary venue each year, along with the National Sports Museum which can be found on the same site. So what better way to discover more about the venue, and the many sporting events held here, than with an MCG tour?
We have gone behind the scenes to explore the fascinating history and vibrant atmosphere of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, so we can take you on your own MCG tour.
The MCG Stadium is a truly iconic sporting venue
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, or “The G” as it is known to sports fans across Australia, is an essential stop on any trip to Victoria. Located at Yarra Park in Melbourne, it is the largest stadium in Australia and the tenth largest in the world, with a capacity of just over 100,000. Since its opening in 1853, it has been a centre of sporting excellence and has hosted a huge number of high-profile sports events. Now over 3.5 million sports fans pass through the gates each year to watch their heroes and lose themselves in the exciting atmosphere of this extraordinary venue.
As its name suggests, Melbourne Cricket Ground was originally set up to provide Melbourne’s cricket team with a permanent home. It has grown to become the largest cricket ground in the world, and is home to the Australian national cricket team as well as the Victorian cricket team. The Boxing Test is an annual fixture here, lasting five days and pitting Australia against various national cricket teams from around the world. A number of other high-profile cricket matches are also held here each year during the cricket season in the summer.
However, cricket is only one of the many sports played here. The MCG is also known as the “spiritual home of Australian rules football”, and it hosts many Australian Football League matches during the winter each year, as well as the AFL Grand Final, which fills the stadium to capacity every time. The MCG is home to four Melbourne based AFL clubs including Melbourne Football Club, Richmond Football Club, Collingwood Football Club and Hawthorn Football Club, so AFL fans are never short of action at the MCG!
The venue is also used for a number of other sports, including rugby union, rugby league, and soccer – several FIFA World Cup qualifying matches have been played at the MCG. In addition, it was the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games, and more recently, the Commonwealth Games in 2006.
Due to its large capacity, the MCG stadium also makes an ideal venue for concerts. Many world famous bands and musicians have played here over the years, including the Rolling Stones, U2, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Eminem, all drawing huge crowds.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground has become such an iconic part of Australian life that it is listed on the Australian National Heritage List and the Victorian Heritage Register, cementing its place as an essential tourist destination for all visitors to Victoria. The Melbourne sports tour is one that is perennially popular, as Australians and international visitors alike want to find out more about this symbol of national excellence in sport.
Explore the National Sports Museum
Also located at the Yarra Park venue is the National Sports Museum, a fascinating, educational and highly entertaining venue which celebrates Australian sport at its best. There are Halls of Fame dedicated to stars of cricket and Australian football, as well as an exhibit exploring the history of the Melbourne Cricket Club.
However, numerous other sports are celebrated here too, with exhibits showcasing the Olympics and Paralympics, soccer, golf, tennis, basketball, netball, cycling and rugby among others. In addition, the space is home to the Australian Racing Museum, which explores the history and successes of horse racing in Australia.
The National Sports Museum gives an excellent background context to the many and varied sporting events which are held at the MCG Stadium, and a visit to the museum is seen by most visitors of all ages as an essential part of their MCG tour.
Other attractions near the MCG grounds
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is a fascinating and unforgettable experience for all visitors, especially if you are lucky enough to catch a game while you are here. However, if you want to extend your visit, Yarra Park is within reach of a number of other hugely popular Melbourne attractions with links to sporting success.
The MCG is surrounded by a grassy precinct which runs alongside the Yarra River, providing a beautiful venue for a walk with the family. This green stretch also houses the Tattersall’s Parade of Champions, which is a series of statues of sporting heroes who have competed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Since 2010, this has been expanded to include new athletes in the Avenue of Legends. A visit here gives you the opportunity to walk among your sporting heroes and soak up the atmosphere of triumphs in various sports from times past through to the present day.
Melbourne Park is another sports venue which is within easy reach of the MCG. This venue is made up of two arenas: the Rod Laver Arena, where the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament is played each year, and the Hisense Arena, which is the venue for cycling, netball and basketball.
However, if you want a break from the adrenaline of sports and would like to learn more about the history and culture of this part of Melbourne, there are plenty of attractions to accommodate you. Most notable of these is Birrarung Marr, a large and beautiful park which is located close to the MCG. Originally home to the Wurundjeri Aboriginal people, the park features a variety of artworks and statues which tell their story. It is an idyllic, peaceful venue which really enables you to lose yourself, located just outside the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and its sporting excitement.
Enjoy your own private MCG tour
Thousands of visitors each year want to take a Melbourne Cricket Ground tour, but few have the opportunity to truly get behind the scenes at one of the world’s most famous sporting venues. However, the MCG has recently started offering private tours – and as one of the major partners of Melbourne Private Tours, they have given us the honour of being one of only a handful of tour operators able to offer this experience.
A private tour is the ideal way to explore Melbourne Cricket Ground and the National Sports Museum, as it is exclusively for you and your travel companions, and the schedule is designed to suit you, rather than being tied to regular MCG tour times. You will be collected in an air-conditioned luxury vehicle and driven directly to Yarra Park, where you can enjoy a guided tour of the stadium, led by a private tour host from the venue as well as your own personal MPT tour guide who will accompany you throughout all your MPT experiences. These highly knowledgeable guides are here to answer all your questions and explain the history of the iconic venue, giving you all the context you need to truly appreciate why the MCG is such an integral part of Australian sporting culture. You can almost feel the presences of sports heroes from days gone by, and look forward to an exciting and optimistic future led by the stars of today.
This tour is your chance to step out onto the world-famous MCG turf – but it is so much more than that. You will be given exclusive access to members-only areas of the Clubhouse including the prestigious Long Room, and also enjoy your own private visit to the National Sports Museum, giving you the opportunity to get up close to the various exhibits and take your time learning more about your favourite sports and their players.
Melbourne Private Tours also offers an exclusive experience to end the experience. The Melbourne skyline in 2019 is a truly stunning sight, and you can get the best view from the top floor terrace bar at the MCG. Here you can relax with drinks and canapes, enjoying individual wait service as you take in the spectacular surroundings before being driven back in comfort and style.
This 2.5-hour tour is an ideal addition to various other tour packages offered by Melbourne Private Tours, and will naturally be of particular interest to any sports fans in your party. It is available on request, so if you would like to know more about our MCG tour price, times or any other information regarding this exclusive experience, please contact us and we will be happy to answer all your questions. This is truly an opportunity too good to miss!
P.S. If you expect your group to be hungry after the tour and would love to get more insights into the Melbourne culinary scene along with trying some of the best food options it is offering, consider our Melbourne food(ie) tour. We are looking forward to hearing from you.