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Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia and one of the great sporting cities of the world. And the home of sport in Melbourne is the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Just over a kilometre out of the city is the MCG, which seats almost 100,000 people, and has been completely rebuilt in the past 10 years. This is the only stadium in the world to have hosted both an Olympic Games and a Commonwealth Games. Further it is the site of the first ever Test cricket match, between Australia and England and is also the site of the first ever Australin Rules Football game and the home of the annual Grand Final of Aussie Rules. Tours operate at the MCG every 30 minutes from 10.00am until 3,00pm every day that events aren't on at the ground
No wonder then that Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of Australia. We consistently get crowds at sporting events that cities of 10 million would be proud of even though we have only 4 million people. Other great sporting events held here are the Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park (just 2 kms from the city), the MotorCycle Grand Prix at Philip Island (about 90Kms from the CBD) and the World Surf Champions at Bells Beach every easter which is a 90 km drive from the city.
No discussion about sport in Melbourne could ever be complete without mentioning The Melbourne Cup & the Spring Racing Carnival held over 6 weeks from the start of October until mid-November. Horses race for millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of peolpe turn out for the big race meetings. The big days are the Caulfiekd Cup, The W.S. Cox Plate and then the four days of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. All are great and if you are in town worth attending, but little in the world can compare to Cup week. The first Saturday, Derby Day is the classic day of racing with 7 or 8 Group or listed races on the program (crowd about 110,000), Tuesday (always the first Tuesday in November) is the big one with the Melbourne Cup and a crowd of 120,000 to 140,000. It's a public holidat in Victoria and of sort of around the country when people get together for BBQ's and watch the race and party. Headaches all around the next day. Thursday with similar crowds is Oaks Day when all the ladies come out in their finery. Again huge crowds as the Ladies strut their stuff and the blokes come out to watch. The following Saturday is Family Day and a day to wind down .
Add on to this the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam in January with hugh crowds, which is now one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world and the great golf courses of the famed sand belt ,including Royal Melbourne, and you have a great sporting city both for participants and for spectating.