Melbourne Cricket Ground

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as The 'G,[10] is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria.[11] Founded and managed by the Melbourne Cricket Club, with 95,000 seats and an additional 5,000 capacity in standing room for a total of just over 100,000[12] it is the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere, the 11th largest globally, and the second-largest cricket ground by capacity, after the Narendra Modi Stadium. The MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is served by Richmond and Jolimont railway stations, as well as the route 70, route 75, and route 48 trams. It is adjacent to Melbourne Park and is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.[13]

Melbourne Cricket Ground
MCG, The 'G
Panorama of the MCG before
the 2017 AFL Grand Final
Address120 Brunton Avenue
East Melbourne, Victoria
LocationYarra Park
Coordinates37°49′12″S 144°59′0″E / 37.82000°S 144.98333°E / -37.82000; 144.98333
OperatorMelbourne Cricket Club (MCC)
Executive suites109
Capacity100,024[1] (95,000 seats + 5000 standing room)[2]
Record attendance
Field size174 metres x 149 metres (general)[4]
160 metres x 141 metres (AFL)[5][6]
172.9 metres x 147.8 metres (cricket)[7]
Opened1853; 171 years ago (1853)
Renovated1992 (Southern Stand redevelopment)
2006 (Northern Stand redevelopment)
2032 (Proposed Shane Warne Stand redevelopment)
Australian Football League (AFL)

Melbourne Football Club (1858–present)
Richmond Football Club (1965–present)
Collingwood Football Club (1993–present)
Essendon Football Club (1991–present)
Hawthorn Football Club (2000–present)
Carlton Football Club (2005–present)


Australian cricket team (1877–present)
Victoria cricket team (1851–present)
Melbourne Stars (2011–present)

Rugby League

Melbourne Storm (2000)

Australia men's national soccer team (selected matches)
Australia women's national football team (selected matches)
Melbourne Victory (international friendly matches)
Ground information
End names
West: City End (AFL);[8]
North: Members End (Cricket)

South: Shane Warne Stand End (Cricket);
East: Punt Road End[8] (AFL)
International information
First Test15–19 March 1877:
 Australia v  England
Last Test26–29 December 2023:
 Australia v  Pakistan
First ODI5 January 1971:
 Australia v  England
Last ODI2 February 2024:
 Australia v  West Indies
First T20I1 February 2008:
 Australia v  India
Last T20I13 November 2022:
 England v  Pakistan
First women's Test18–20 January 1935:
 Australia v  England
Last women's Test28–31 January 1949:
 Australia v  England
First WODI18 December 1988:
 Australia v  England
Last WODI23 January 2014:
 Australia v  England
First WT20I1 February 2008:
 Australia v  England
Last WT20I8 March 2020:
 Australia v  India
As of 2 February 2024
Source: Cricinfo
Criteriaa, g, h
Designated26 December 2005; 18 years ago (2005-12-26)
Reference no.105885
Official nameMelbourne Cricket Ground
TypeState Registered Place
Criteriaa, b, c, e, f, g
Designated19 April 2001; 23 years ago (2001-04-19)
Reference no.H1928[9]
Heritage Overlay numberHO890[9]

Since it was built in 1853, the MCG has undergone numerous renovations. It served as the centrepiece stadium of the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and two Cricket World Cups: 1992 and 2015. Noted for its role in the development of international cricket, the MCG hosted both the first Test match and the first One Day International, played between Australia and England in 1877 and 1971, respectively. It has also maintained strong ties with Australian rules football since its codification in 1859, and has become the principal venue for Australian Football League (AFL) matches, including the AFL Grand Final, the world's highest attended league championship event. It hosted the Final for the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Home to the Australian Sports Museum, the MCG has hosted other major sporting events, including international rules football matches between Australia and Ireland, international rugby union matches, State of Origin (rugby league) games, and FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Concerts and other cultural events are also held at the venue with the record attendance standing at 143,750 for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in 1959. Grandstand redevelopments and occupational health and safety legislation have limited the maximum seating capacity to approximately 95,000 with an additional 5,000 standing room capacity, bringing the total capacity to 100,024.

The MCG is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register[14] and was included on the Australian National Heritage List in 2005.[15] In 2003, journalist Greg Baum called it "a shrine, a citadel, a landmark, a totem" that "symbolises Melbourne to the world".[16]

Early history

Aboriginal cricket team with captain-coach Tom Wills, December 1866. In the background is the original MCC pavilion, built in 1854.

The MCG is built atop a Wurundjeri camping ground and site of numerous corroborees.[17] Founded in November 1838 the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) selected the current MCG site in 1853 after previously playing at several grounds around Melbourne.[18] The club's first game was against a military team at the Old Mint site, at the corner of William and La Trobe Streets. Burial Hill (now Flagstaff Gardens) became its home ground in January 1839, but the area was already set aside for Botanical Gardens and the club was moved on in October 1846, to an area on the south bank of the Yarra about where the Herald & Weekly Times building is today. The area was subject to flooding, forcing the club to move again, this time to a ground in South Melbourne.

It was not long before the club was forced out again, this time because of the expansion of the railway. The South Melbourne ground was in the path of Victoria's first steam railway line from Melbourne to Sandridge (now Port Melbourne). Governor La Trobe offered the MCC a choice of three sites; an area adjacent to the existing ground, a site at the junction of Flinders and Spring Streets or a ten-acre (about 4 hectares) section of the Government Paddock at Richmond next to Richmond Park.

Between European settlement in 1835 and the early 1860s, this last option, which is now Yarra Park, was known as the Government or Police Paddock and served as a large agistment area for the horses of the Mounted Police, Border Police and Native Police. The north-eastern section also housed the main barracks for the Mounted Police in the Port Phillip district. In 1850 it was part of a 200-acre (81 ha) stretch set aside for public recreation extending from Governor La Trobe's Jolimont Estate to the Yarra River. By 1853 it had become a busy promenade for Melbourne residents.

An MCC sub-committee chose the Richmond Park option because it was level enough for cricket but sloped enough to prevent inundation. That ground was located where the Richmond, or outer, end of the current MCG is now.

At the same time the Richmond Cricket Club was given occupancy rights to six acres (2.4 hectares) for another cricket ground on the eastern side of the Government Paddock.

In 1861, a board of trustees was appointed to be responsible for the ground. Over the first forty years, most of the trustees were appointed by the MCC, giving the cricket club relative autonomy over the use of the ground. In 1906, the state governments' Lands ministry appointed five new trustees, putting the government-appointed trustees in the majority; and the government has appointed and overseen the trust since.[19] This gives the state government, via the trust, a level of control over the ground's use.

At the time of the land grant, the Government stipulated that the ground was to be used for cricket and cricket only. This condition technically remained until 1933[20][citation needed][21] when the Melbourne Cricket Ground Act 1933 widened its allowable uses. The 1933 act has been replaced by separate acts in 1989 and 2009.[22]

In 1863, a corridor of land running diagonally across Yarra Park was granted to the Melbourne & Hobson's Bay Railway Company and divided Yarra Park from the river. The Mounted Police barracks were operational until the 1880s when it was subdivided into the current residential precinct bordered by Vale Street. The area closest to the river was also developed for sporting purposes in later years including Olympic venues in 1956.

Stadium development

Grandstand built for the English cricket team's 1877 visit

The first grandstand at the MCG was the original wooden members' stand built in 1854, while the first public grandstand was a 200-metre long 6000-seat temporary structure built in 1861. Another grandstand seating 2000, facing one way to the cricket ground and the other way to the park where football was played, was built in 1876 for the 1877 visit of James Lillywhite's English cricket team. It was during this tour that the MCG hosted the world's first Test match.

In 1881, the original members' stand was sold to the Richmond Cricket Club for £55. A new brick stand, considered at the time to be the world's finest cricket facility, was built in its place. The foundation stone was laid by Prince George of Wales and Prince Albert Victor on 4 July and the stand opened in December that year. It was also in 1881 that a telephone was installed at the ground, and the wickets and goal posts were changed from an east–west orientation to north–south. In 1882 a scoreboard was built which showed details of the batsman's name and how he was dismissed.

When the Lillywhite tour stand burned down in 1884 it was replaced by a new stand which seated 450 members and 4500 public. In 1897, second-storey wings were added to 'The Grandstand', as it was known, increasing capacity to 9,000. In 1900 it was lit with electric light.

MCG, c. 1914. The 1881 members' stand is the smaller building on the left

More stands were built in the early 20th century. An open wooden stand was on the south side of the ground in 1904 and the 2084-seat Grey Smith Stand (known as the New Stand until 1912) was erected for members in 1906. The 4000-seat Harrison Stand on the ground's southern side was built in 1908 followed by the 8000-seat Wardill Stand in 1912. In the 15 years after 1897 the grandstand capacity at the ground increased to nearly 20,000, while the full ground capacity was almost 60,000.

In 1927, the second brick members' stand was replaced at a cost of £60,000. The Harrison and Wardill Stands were demolished in 1936 to make way for the Southern Stand which was completed in 1937. The Southern Stand, which spanned almost half of the field's circumference, seated 18,200 under cover and 13,000 in the open and was the main public area of the MCG. The maximum capacity of the ground under this configuration, as advised by the Health Department, was 84,000 seated and 94,000 standing.[23]

The Northern Stand, also known as the Olympic Stand, was built to replace the old Grandstand for the 1956 Olympic Games. By Health Department regulations, this was to increase the stadium's capacity to 120,000; although this was revised down after the 1956 VFL Grand Final, which could not comfortably accommodate its crowd of 115,802.[24] Ten years later, the Grey Smith Stand and the open concrete stand next to it were replaced by the Western Stand; the Duke of Edinburgh laid a foundation stone for the Western Stand on 3 March 1967, and it was completed in 1968; in 1986, it was renamed the W.H. Ponsford Stand in honour of Victorian batsman Bill Ponsford. This was the stadium's highest capacity configuration, and the all-time record crowd for a sporting event at the venue of 121,696 was set under this configuration in the 1970 VFL Grand Final.

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.

During the 1980s, the Olympic Stand had corporate suites installed which led to the reduction of seating and standing capacity in the stand, the Ponsford Stand had seats installed on the ground level replacing the standing room and both the Southern Stand and Olympic Stand had their wooden bench seats removed and replaced with plastic bucket seats.[25][26]

View of the Great Southern Stand during the 1998 Boxing Day Test match. The Olympic Stand is visible at the bottom left of the photo.

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. It was renamed the Shane Warne Stand after Victorian bowler Shane Warne in 2022 shortly after his death.[27]

The W.H. Ponsford Stand undergoing reconstruction in 2003.
The Members Reserve as viewed from the Shane Warne Stand during the Australia vs South Africa Boxing Day Test in 2022.

The 1928 Members' stand, the 1956 Olympic stand and the 1968 W.H. 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.[28] Despite now standing as a single unbroken stand, the individual sections retain the names of W.H. 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 has been 100,024 at the 2022 and 2023 AFL grand finals.

From 2011 until 2013, the Victoria State Government and the Melbourne Cricket Club funded a $55 million refurbishment of the facilities in the Great Southern Stand, including renovations to entrance gates and ticket outlets, food and beverage outlets, etc., without significantly modifying the stand.[29] New scoreboards, more than twice the size of the original ones, were installed in the same positions in late 2013.[30]

From November 2019 until February 2020 all the playing field lights, including those in the light towers, were replaced with LED sports lighting with the lighting under the roof and in two of the light towers completed in time for the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand.[31]



Early years


The first cricket match at the venue was played on 30 September 1854, while the first inter-colonial cricket match to be played at the MCG was between Victoria and New South Wales in March 1856. Victoria had played Tasmania (then known as Van Diemen's Land) as early as 1851 but the Victorians had included two professionals in the 1853 team upsetting the Tasmanians and causing a cooling of relations between the two colonies. To replace the disgruntled Tasmanians the Melbourne Cricket Club issued a challenge to play any team in the colonies for £1000. Sydney publican William Tunks accepted the challenge on behalf of New South Wales although the Victorians were criticised for playing for money. Ethics aside, New South Wales could not afford the £1000 and only managed to travel to Melbourne after half the team's travel cost of £181 was put up by Sydney barrister Richard Driver.

The game eventually got under way on 26 March 1856. The Victorians, stung by criticism over the £1000 stake, argued over just about everything; the toss, who should bat first, whether different pitches should be used for the different innings and even what the umpires should wear.

Victoria won the toss but New South Wales captain George Gilbert successfully argued that the visiting team should decide who bats first. The MCG was a grassless desert and Gilbert, considering players fielded without boots, promptly sent Victoria into bat. Needing only 16 to win in the final innings, New South Wales collapsed to be 5 for 5 before Gilbert's batting saved the game and the visitors won by three wickets.[32]

In subsequent years conditions at the MCG improved but the ever-ambitious Melburnians were always on the lookout for more than the usual diet of club and inter-colonial games. In 1861, Felix William Spiers and Christopher Pond, the proprietors of the Cafe de Paris in Bourke Street and caterers to the MCC, sent their agent, W.B. Mallam, to England to arrange for a cricket team to visit Australia.

Mallam found a team and, captained by Heathfield Stephenson, it arrived in Australia on Christmas Eve 1861 to be met by a crowd of more than 3000 people. The team was taken on a parade through the streets wearing white-trimmed hats with blue ribbons given to them for the occasion. Wherever they went they were mobbed and cheered by crowds to the point where the tour sponsors had to take them out of Melbourne so that they could train undisturbed.

Their first game was at the MCG on New Year's Day 1862, against a Victorian XVIII. The Englishmen also wore coloured sashes around their waists to identify each player and were presented with hats to shade them from the sun. Some estimates put the crowd at the MCG that day at 25,000. It must have been quite a picture with a new 6000 seat grandstand, coloured marquees ringing the ground and a carnival outside. Stephenson said that the ground was better than any in England. The Victorians however, were no match for the English at cricket and the visitors won by an innings and 96 runs.

1864 match between Victoria and George Parr's touring All-England Eleven

Over the four days of the 'test' more than 45,000 people attended and the profits for Speirs and Pond from this game alone was enough to fund the whole tour. At that time it was the largest number of people to ever watch a cricket match anywhere in the world. Local cricket authorities went out of their way to cater for the needs of the team and the sponsors. They provided grounds and sponsors booths without charge and let the sponsors keep the gate takings. The sponsors however, were not so generous in return. They quibbled with the Melbourne Cricket Club about paying £175 for damages to the MCG despite a prior arrangement to do so.

The last match of the tour was against a Victorian XXII at the MCG after which the English team planted an elm tree outside the ground.

Following the success of this tour, a number of other English teams also visited in subsequent years. George Parr's side came out in 1863–64 and there were two tours by sides led by William Gilbert Grace. The fourth tour was led by James Lillywhite.

On Boxing Day 1866 an Indigenous Australian cricket team played at the MCG with 11,000 spectators against an MCC team. A few players in that match were in a later team that toured England in 1868. Some also played in three other matches at the ground before 1869.

First Test match

The MCG in 1878. The first Test cricket match was played at the MCG in 1877

Up until the fourth tour in 1877, led by James Lillywhite, touring teams had played first-class games against the individual colonial sides, but Lillywhite felt that his side had done well enough against New South Wales to warrant a game against an All Australian team.

When Lillywhite headed off to New Zealand he left Melbourne cricketer John Conway to arrange the match for their return. Conway ignored the cricket associations in each colony and selected his own Australian team, negotiating directly with the players. Not only was the team he selected of doubtful representation but it was also probably not the strongest available as some players had declined to take part for various reasons. Demon bowler Fred Spofforth refused to play because wicket-keeper Billy Murdoch was not selected. Paceman Frank Allan was at Warrnambool Agricultural Show and Australia's best all-rounder Edwin Evans could not get away from work. In the end only five Australian-born players were selected.

The same could be said for Lillywhite's team which, being selected from only four counties, meant that some of England's best players did not take part. In addition, the team had a rough voyage back across the Tasman Sea and many members had been seasick. The game was due to be played on 15 March, the day after their arrival, but most had not yet fully recovered. On top of that, wicket-keeper Ted Pooley was still in a New Zealand prison after a brawl in a Christchurch pub.

England was nonetheless favourite to win the game and the first ever Test match began with a crowd of only 1000 watching. The Australians elected Dave Gregory from New South Wales as Australia's first ever captain and on winning the toss he decided to bat.

Charles Bannerman scored an unbeaten 165 before retiring hurt. Sydney Cricket Ground curator, Ned Gregory, playing in his one and only Test for Australia, scored Test cricket's first duck. Australia racked up 245 and 104 while England scored 196 and 108 giving Australia victory by 45 runs. The win hinged on Bannerman's century and a superb bowling performance by Tom Kendall who took 7 for 55 in England's second innings.

A fortnight later there was a return game, although it was really more of a benefit for the English team. Australia included Spofforth, Murdoch and T.J.D. Cooper in the side but this time the honours went to England who won by four wickets.

Two years later Lord Harris brought another England team out and during England's first innings in the Test at the MCG, Fred Spofforth took the first hat-trick in Test cricket. He bagged two hauls of 6 for 48 and 7 for 62 in Australia's ten wicket win.

Cricket uses


Through most of the 20th century, the Melbourne Cricket Ground was one of the two major Test venues in Australia (along with the Sydney Cricket Ground), and it would host one or two Tests in each summer in which Tests were played; since 1982, the Melbourne Cricket Ground has hosted one Test match each summer. Until 1979, the ground almost always hosted its match or one of its matches over the New Year, with the first day's play falling somewhere between 29 December and 1 January; in most years since 1980 and every year since 1995, its test has begun on Boxing Day, and it is now a standard fixture in the Australian cricket calendar and is known as the Boxing Day Test.[33] The venue also hosts one-day international matches each year, and Twenty20 international matches most years. No other venue in Melbourne has hosted a Test, and Docklands Stadium is the only other venue to have hosted a limited-overs international.

The Victorian first-class team plays Sheffield Shield cricket at the venue during the season. Prior to Test cricket being played on Boxing Day, it was a long-standing tradition for Victoria to host New South Wales in a first-class match on Boxing Day. Victoria also played its limited overs matches at the ground.[34] Since the introduction of the domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) in 2011, the Melbourne Stars club has played its home matches at the ground. It is also the home ground of the Melbourne Stars Women team, which plays in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL).[35]

By the 1980s, the integral MCG pitch – grown from Merri Creek black soil – was considered the worst in Australia, in some matches exhibiting wildly inconsistent bounce which could see balls pass through as grubbers or rear dangerously high – a phenomenon which was put down to damage caused by footballers in winter and increased use for cricket during the summers of the 1970s.[36] The integral pitch has since been removed and drop-in pitches have been cultivated and used since 1996, generally offering consistent bounce and a fair balance between bat and ball.[37] The decade-and-a-half-old pitches degraded again through the late 2010s, seeing the pitch receive the first official International Cricket Council 'poor' rating by an Australian pitch in 2017, and saw another Sheffield Shield match abandoned in 2019;[38] a new set of drop-in pitches will be grown and ready for use by the early 2020s.[39]

Highlights and lowlights


The highest first class team score in history was posted at the MCG in the Boxing Day match against New South Wales in 1926–27. Victoria scored 1107 in two days, with Bill Ponsford scoring 352 and Jack Ryder scoring 295.

One of the most sensational incidents in Test cricket occurred at the MCG during the Melbourne test of the 1954–55 England tour of Australia. Big cracks had appeared in the pitch during a very hot Saturday's play and on the rest day Sunday, groundsman Jack House watered the pitch to close them up. This was illegal and the story was leaked by The Age newspaper. The teams agreed to finish the match and England won by 128 runs after Frank Tyson took 7 for 27 in the final innings.

An incident in the second Test of the 1960–61 series involved the West Indies player Joe Solomon being given out after his hat fell on the stumps after being bowled at by Richie Benaud. The crowd sided with the West Indies over the Australians.

Not only was the first Test match played at the MCG, the first One Day International match was also played there, on 5 January 1971, between Australia and England. The match was played on what was originally scheduled to have been the fifth day of a Test match, but the Test was abandoned after the first three days were washed out.[40] Australia won the 40-over match by 5 wickets. The next ODI was played in August 1972, some 19 months later.[41]

In March 1977, a Centenary Test Match was held between Australia and England to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Test match. The match was the idea of former Australian bowler and MCC committee member Hans Ebeling who had been responsible for developing the cricket museum at the MCG. England's Derek Randall scored 174, Australia's Rod Marsh also got a century, Dennis Lillee took 11 wickets, and David Hookes, in his first Test, hit five fours in a row off England captain Tony Greig's bowling. Rick McCosker opened the batting for Australia and suffered a fractured jaw after being hit by a sharply rising delivery. He left the field but came back in the second innings with his head swathed in bandages. Australia won the match by 45 runs, exactly the same margin as the first Test in 1877.

The second day of the 2006 Boxing Day Test match

Another incident occurred on 1 February 1981 at the end of a one-day match between Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand, batting second, needed six runs off the last ball of the day to tie the game. Australian captain, Greg Chappell instructed his brother Trevor, who was bowling the last over, to send the last ball down underarm to prevent the New Zealand batsman, Brian McKechnie, from hitting the ball for six. Although not in the spirit of the game, an underarm delivery was quite legal, so long as the arm was kept straight. The Laws of cricket have since been changed to prevent such a thing happening again. The incident has long been a sore point between Australia and New Zealand.[42]

In February and March 1985 the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket was played at the MCG, a One Day International tournament involving all of the then Test match playing countries to celebrate 150 years of the Australian state of Victoria. Some matches were also played at Sydney Cricket Ground.

The MCG hosted the 1992 Cricket World Cup Final between Pakistan and England with a crowd of more than 87,000. Pakistan won the match after an all-round performance by Wasim Akram who scored 33 runs and took 3 wickets to make Pakistan cricket world champions for the first and, to date, only time.

During the 1995 Boxing Day Test at the MCG, Australian umpire Darrell Hair called Sri Lankan spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing the ball, rather than bowling it, seven times during the match.[43] The other umpire did not call him once and this caused a controversy, although Muralitharan was later called for throwing by other umpires in different matches.

The MCG is known for its great atmosphere,[citation needed] much of which is generated in the infamous Bay 13, situated almost directly opposite to the members stand. In the late 1980s, the crowd at Bay 13 would often mimic the warm up stretches performed by Merv Hughes. In a 1999 One-Day International, the behaviour of Bay 13 was so bad that Shane Warne, donning a helmet for protection, asked the crowd to settle down at the request of opposing England captain Alec Stewart.

MCG during the 2015 Cricket World Cup Final with 93,013 in attendance

The MCG hosted three pool games as part of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup as well as a quarter-final, and then the final on 29 March. Australia comfortably defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in front of an Australian record cricket crowd of 93,013.[44]

The 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup Final was held on International Women's Day between Australia and India. Australia won by 85 runs in front of a record crowd for women's cricket of 86,174.

Attendance records for cricket matches at the MCG
Number Teams Match type Attendance Date
1 Australia v New Zealand 2015 Cricket World Cup Final (ODI) 93,013 29 March 2015
2 Australia v England Test 91,112 26 December 2013
3 Australia v West Indies Test 90,800 11 February 1961
4 India v Pakistan 2022 Men's T20 World Cup (Super 12) 90,293 23 October 2022
5 Australia v England Test 89,155 26 December 2006
6 Australia v England Test 88,172 26 December 2017
7 Australia v England Test 87,789 4 January 1937
8 England v Pakistan 1992 Cricket World Cup Final (ODI) 87,182 25 March 1992
9 India v South Africa 2015 Cricket World Cup Group match 86,876 22 February 2015
10 Australia v India 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup Final 86,174 8 March 2020

Australian rules football


As of 2024, six AFL teams have deals in place to play home games at the MCG:

Additionally, the Geelong Football Club play two home games per year at the MCG, and the St Kilda Football Club plays one home game per year at the MCG; both teams predominantly play home games at Kardinia Park and Docklands Stadium respectively.


1879 Australian rules football match played under electric lights
Crowd during a VFL football match, early 1900s

Despite being called the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the stadium has been and continues to be used much more often for Australian rules football. Spectator numbers for football are larger than for any other sport in Australia, and it makes more money for the MCG than any of the other sports played there.

Although the Melbourne Cricket Club members were instrumental in founding Australian Rules Football, there were understandable concerns in the early days about the damage that might be done to the playing surface if football was allowed to be played at the MCG. Therefore, football games were often played in the parklands next to the cricket ground, and this was the case for the first documented football match to be played at the ground. The match which today is considered to be the first Australian rules football, played between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College over three Saturdays beginning 7 August 1858 was played in this area.

It wasn't until 1869 that football was played on the MCG proper, a trial game involving a police team. It was not for another ten years, in 1879, after the formation of the Victorian Football Association, that the first official match was played on the MCG and the cricket ground itself became a regular venue for football. Two night matches were played on the ground during the year under the newly invented electric light.[45][46]

In the early years, the MCG was the home ground of Melbourne Football Club, Australia's oldest club, established in 1858 by the founder of the game itself, Thomas Wills. Melbourne won five premierships during the 1870s using the MCG as its home ground.

The first of nearly 3000 Victorian Football League/Australian Football League games to be played at the MCG was on 15 May 1897, with Melbourne beating Geelong 64 to 19.

Melbourne used the venue as its training base until 1984, before being required to move to preserve the venue's surface when North Melbourne began playing there.[47]

Finals and grand finals


The VFL/AFL grand final has been played at the MCG every season since 1902, except for between 1942 and 1945, when the ground was used by the military during World War II; in 1991 as the construction of the Great Southern Stand had temporarily reduced the ground's capacity below that of Waverley Park; and both 2020 and 2021, when restrictions in Victoria due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the games to be moved to the Gabba in Queensland and Perth Stadium in Western Australia respectively. All three grand final replays have been played at the MCG.

A sold out MCG during the 2022 AFL Grand Final; the match drew an attendance of 100,024

Before the MCG was fully seated, a grand final could draw attendances above 110,000. The record for the highest attendance in the history of the sport was set in the 1970 VFL Grand Final, with 121,696 in attendance.

Since being fully seated, grand final attendances are typically between 95,000 and 100,000, with the record of 100,024 at the 2022 AFL Grand Final and the 2023 AFL Grand Final, followed by 100,022 at the 2018 AFL Grand Final and 100,021 at the 2017 AFL Grand Final.

In the modern era, most finals games held in Melbourne have been played at the MCG. Under the current contract, 10 finals (excluding the grand final) must be played at the MCG over a five-year period. Under previous contracts, the MCG was entitled to host at least one match in each week of the finals, which on several occasions required non-Victorian clubs to play "home" finals in Victoria. The MCG is contracted to host the grand final every year until 2059.[48]

All Melbourne-based teams (and most of the time Geelong) play their "home" finals at the MCG unless if four Victorian teams win the right to host a final in the first week of the finals.

MCG and the VFL/AFL


For many years the VFL had an uneasy relationship with the MCG trustees and the Melbourne Cricket Club. Both needed the other, but resented the dependence. The VFL made the first move which brought things to a head by beginning the development of VFL Park at Mulgrave in the 1960s as its own home ground and as a potential venue for future grand finals. Then in 1983, president of the VFL, Allen Aylett started to pressure the MCG Trust to give the VFL a greater share of the money it made from using the ground for football.

After negotiations with the MCC in 1964, Richmond joined Melbourne playing their home games at the MCG from 1965.

In March 1983 the MCG trustees met to consider a submission from Aylett. Aylett said he wanted the Melbourne Cricket Club's share of revenue cut from 15 per cent to 10 per cent. He threatened to take the following day's opening game of the season, Collingwood vs Melbourne, away from the MCG. The money was held aside until an agreement could be reached.

Different deals, half deals and possible deals were done over the years, with the Premier of Victoria, John Cain, Jr., even becoming involved. Cain was said to have promised the VFL it could use the MCG for six months of the year and then hand it back to the MCC, but this never eventuated, as the MCG Trust did not approve it. In the mid-1980s, a deal was done where the VFL was given its own members area in the Southern Stand.

Against this background of political maneuvering, in 1985 North Melbourne became the third club to make the MCG its home ground. In the same year, North played in the first night football match at the MCG for almost 110 years, against Collingwood on 29 March 1985.

In 1986, only a month after Ross Oakley had taken over as VFL Commissioner, VFL executives met with the MCC and took a big step towards resolving their differences. Changes in the personnel at the MCC also helped. In 1983 John Lill was appointed secretary and Don Cordner its president.

Shortly after the Southern Stand opened in 1992, the Australian Football League moved its headquarters into the complex. The AFL assisted with financing the new stand and came to an agreement that ensures at least 45 AFL games are played at the MCG each year, including the Grand Final in September. Another 45 days of cricket are also played there each year and more than 3.5 million spectators come to watch every year. Also in 1992, Essendon became the fourth AFL club to call the MCG home with Collingwood staging the majority of their home games at the MCG from 1994 onwards before fully moving from Victoria Park to the MCG in 2000. Carlton have also used the ground for up to five home games a year since 1992.

After the closure of Waverley Park, Hawthorn moved their home games to the MCG in 2000.

As of the end of 2011, Matthew Richardson holds the records for having scored the most goals on the MCG and as of 2021 Scott Pendlebury holds the record for playing the most matches. Two players have scored 14 goals for an AFL or VFL game in one match at the MCG, Gary Ablett Sr. in 1989 and 1993 and John Longmire in 1990.

Before an AFL match between Richmond and Carlton on 27 August 1999, the city end scoreboard caught on fire due to an electrical fault, causing the start of play to be delayed by half an hour.

A panoramic view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground from level 4 of the Northern Stand, First game of the 2010 AFL Season between Richmond and Carlton

World War II


During World War II, the government requisitioned the MCG for military use. From 1942 until 1945 it was occupied by (in order): the United States Army Air Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, the United States Marine Corps and again the RAAF.[49] Over the course of the war, more than 200,000 personnel were barracked at the MCG. From April to October 1942, the US Army's Fifth Air Force occupied the ground, naming it "Camp Murphy", in honour of officer Colonel William Murphy, a senior USAAF officer killed in Java. In 1943 the MCG was home to the legendary First Regiment of the First Division of the United States Marine Corps. The First Marine Division were the heroes of the Guadalcanal campaign and used the "cricket grounds", as the marines referred to it, to rest and recuperate.[49] On 14 March 1943 the marines hosted a giant "get together" of American and Australian troops on the arena.[49]

In 1977, Melbourne Cricket Club president Sir Albert Chadwick and Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel Mitchell Paige, unveiled a commemorative plaque recognizing the Americans' time at the ground.[49]

In episode 3 of the 2010 TV miniseries, The Pacific, members of the US Marines are shown to be camped in the war-era MCG.

Olympic Games


The MCG's most famous moment in history was as the main stadium for the 1956 Olympic Games, hosting the opening and closing ceremonies, track and field events, and the finals in field hockey and soccer.[50] The MCG was only one of seven possible venues, including the Melbourne Showgrounds, for the Games' main arena. The MCG was the Federal Government's preferred venue but there was resistance from the MCC. The inability to decide on the central venue nearly caused the Games to be moved from Melbourne. Prime Minister Robert Menzies recognised the potential embarrassment to Australia if this happened and organised a three-day summit meeting to thrash things out. Attending was Victorian Premier John Cain, Sr., the Prime Minister, deputy opposition leader Arthur Calwell, all State political leaders, civic leaders, Olympic officials and trustees and officials of the MCC. Convening the meeting was no small effort considering the calibre of those attending and that many of the sports officials were only part-time amateurs.

As 22 November, the date of the opening ceremony, drew closer, Melbourne was gripped ever more tightly by Olympic fever. At 3 pm the day before the opening ceremony, people began to line up outside the MCG gates. That night the city was paralysed by a quarter of a million people who had come to celebrate.

The MCG's capacity was increased by the new Olympic (or Northern) Stand, and on the day itself 103,000 people filled the stadium to capacity. A young up and coming distance runner was chosen to carry the Olympic torch into the stadium for the opening ceremony.

Although Ron Clarke had a number of junior world records for distances of 1500 m, one mile (1.6 km) and two miles (3 km), he was relatively unknown in 1956. Perhaps the opportunity to carry the torch inspired him because he went on to have a career of exceptional brilliance and was without doubt the most outstanding runner of his day. At one stage he held the world record for every distance from two miles (3 km) to 20 km. His few failures came in Olympic and Commonwealth Games competition. Although favourite for the gold at Tokyo in 1964 he was placed ninth in the 5,000 metres race and the marathon and third in the 10,000 metres. He lost again in the 1966 Commonwealth Games and in 1968 at altitude in Mexico he collapsed at the end of the 10 km race.

Ron Clarke carrying the Olympic Torch through the MCG at the 1956 Olympic Games' opening ceremony.

On that famous day in Melbourne in 1956 the torch spluttered and sparked, showering Clarke with hot magnesium, burning holes in his shirt. When he dipped the torch into the cauldron it burst into flame singeing him further. In the centre of the ground, John Landy, the fastest miler in the world, took the Olympic oath and sculler Merv Wood carried the Australian flag.

The Melbourne Games also saw the high point of Australian female sprinting with Betty Cuthbert winning three gold medals at the MCG. She won the 100 m and 200 m and anchored the winning 4 x 100 m team. Born in Merrylands in Sydney's west she was a champion schoolgirl athlete and had already broken the world record for the 200 m just before the 1956 Games. She was to be overshadowed by her Western Suburbs club member, the Marlene Matthews. When they got to the Games, Matthews was the overwhelming favourite especially for the 100 m a distance over which Cuthbert had beaten her just once.

Both Matthews and Cuthbert won their heats with Matthews setting an Olympic record of 11.5 seconds in hers. Cuthbert broke that record in the following heat with a time of 11.4 seconds. The world record of 11.3 was held by another Australian, Shirley Strickland who was eliminated in her heat. In the final Matthews felt she got a bad start and was last at the 50 metre mark. Cuthbert sensed Isabella Daniels from the USA close behind her and pulled out a little extra to win Australia's first gold at the Games in a time of 11.5 seconds, Matthews was third. The result was repeated in the 200 m final. Cuthbert won her second gold breaking Marjorie Jackson's Olympic record. Matthews was third again.

By the time the 1956 Olympics came around, Shirley Strickland was a mother of 31 years of age but managed to defend her 80 m title, which she had won in Helsinki four years before, winning gold and setting a new Olympic record.

The sensational incident of the track events was the non-selection of Marlene Matthews in the 4 x 100 m relay. Matthews trained with the relay team up until the selection was made but Cuthbert, Strickland, Fleur Mellor and Norma Croker were picked for the team. There was outrage at the selection which increased when Matthews went on to run third in both the 100 m and 200 m finals. Personally she was devastated and felt that she had been overlooked for her poor baton change. Strickland was disappointed with the way Matthews was treated and maintained it was an opinion held in New South Wales that she had baton problems. One of the selectors, Doris Magee from NSW, said that selecting Matthews increased the risk of disqualification at the change. But Cuthbert maintained that the selectors made the right choice saying that Fleur Mellor was fresh, a specialist relay runner and was better around the curves than Matthews.

The men did not fare so well. The 4 x 400 m relay team, including later IOC Committee member Kevan Gosper, won silver. Charles Porter also won silver in the high jump. Hec Hogan won bronze in the 100 m to become the first Australian man to win a medal in a sprint since the turn of the century and despite injury John Landy won bronze in the 1500 m. Allan Lawrence won bronze in the 10,000 m event.

Apart from athletics, the stadium was also used for the soccer finals, the hockey finals, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and an exhibition game of baseball between the Australian National Team and a US armed services team at which an estimated crowd of 114,000 attended. This was the Guinness World Record for the largest attendance for any baseball game, which stood until a 29 March 2008 exhibition game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers at the Los Angeles Coliseum (also a former Olympic venue in 1932 and 1984) drawing 115,300.

The MCG was also used for another demonstration sport, Australian Rules. The Olympics being an amateur competition meant that only amateurs could play in the demonstration game. A combined team of amateurs from the VFL and VFA were selected to play a state team from the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA). The game was played 7 December 1956 with the VAFA side, wearing white jumpers, green collars and the Olympic rings on their chests, winning easily 81 to 55. One of the players chosen for the VFA side was Lindsay Gaze (although he never got off the bench) who would go on to make his mark in another sport, basketball, rather than Australian Rules.

The MCG's link with its Olympic past continues to this day. Within its walls is the IOC-endorsed Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum.

Forty-four years later at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the ground hosted several soccer preliminaries, making it one of a few venues ever used for more than one Olympics.[51]

Commonwealth Games

Melbourne Cricket Ground during the 2006 Commonwealth Games

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2006 Commonwealth Games were held at the MCG, as well as athletics events during the games. The games began on 15 March and ended on 26 March.

The seating capacity of the stadium during the games was 80,000. A total of 47 events were contested, of which 24 by male and 23 by female athletes. Furthermore, three men's and three women's disability events were held within the programme. All athletics events took place within the Melbourne Cricket Ground, while the marathon and racewalking events took place on the streets of Melbourne and finished at the main stadium.

The hosts Australia easily won the medals table with 16 golds and 41 medals in total. Jamaica came second with 10 golds and 22 medals, while Kenya and England were the next best performers. A total of eleven Games records were broken over the course of the seven-day competition. Six of the records were broken by Australian athletes.

Rugby union


The first game of Rugby Union to be played on the ground was on Saturday, 29 June 1878, when the Waratah Club of Sydney played Carlton Football Club in a return of the previous year's contests in Sydney where the clubs had competed in both codes of football. The match, watched by a crowd of between 6,000 and 7,000 resulted in a draw; one goal and one try being awarded to each team.[52][53]

The next Rugby match was held on Wednesday 29 June 1881, when the Wanderers, a team organised under the auspices of the Melbourne Cricket Club, played a team representing a detached Royal Navy squadron then visiting Melbourne. The squadron team won by one goal and one try to nil.[54]

It was not until 19 August 1899 that the MCG was again the venue for a Union match, this time Victoria v the British Lions (as they were later to be called). During the preceding week the Victorians had held several trial and practice matches there, as well as several training sessions, despite which they were defeated 30–0 on the day before a crowd of some 7,000.[55]

Nine years later, on Monday, 10 August 1908, Victoria was again the host, this time to the Australian team en route to Great Britain and soon to be dubbed the First Wallabies. Despite being held on a working day some 1,500 spectators attended to see the visitors win by 26–6.[56]

On Saturday, 6 July 1912 the MCG was the venue, for the only time ever, of a match between two Victorian Rugby Union clubs, Melbourne and East Melbourne, the former winning 9–5 in what was reported to be '... one of the finest exhibitions of the Rugby game ever seen in Victoria.' It was played before a large crowd as a curtain raiser to a State Rules match against South Australia.[57]

On Saturday 18 June 1921, in another curtain raiser, this time to a Melbourne-Fitzroy League game, a team representing Victoria was soundly beaten 51–0 by the South African Springboks in front of a crowd of 11,214.[58]

It was nine years later, on Saturday 13 September 1930, that the British Lions returned to play Victoria, again before a crowd of 7,000, this time defeating the home side 41–36, a surprisingly narrow winning margin.[59]

The first post war match at the MCG was on 21 May 1949 when the NZ Maoris outclassed a Southern States side 35–8 before a crowd of close to 10,000.[60] A year later, on 29 July 1950, for the first and only time, Queensland travelled to Victoria to play an interstate match, defeating their hosts 31–12 before a crowd of 7,479.[61] In the following year the MCG was the venue for a contest between the New Zealand All Blacks and an Australian XV. This was on 30 June 1951 before some 9,000 spectators and resulted in a convincing 56–11 win for the visitors.[62]

Union did not return to the MCG until the late 1990s, for several night time Test matches, both Australia v New Zealand All Blacks as part of the Tri Nations Series. The first, on Saturday 26 July 1997, being notable for an attendance of 90,119, the visitors decisively winning 33–18 and the second, on Saturday 11 July 1998, for a victory to Australia of 24–16. Australia and New Zealand met again at the MCG during the 2007 Tri Nations Series on 30 June, the hosts again winning, this time by 20 points to 15 in front of a crowd of 79,322.[63]

Australia returned to the MCG as part of the 2023 Rugby Championship. They were defeated by New Zealand 38–7 in front of a crowd of 83,944.[64]

Rugby league


Rugby league was first played at the ground on 15 August 1914, with the New South Wales team losing to England 15–21.

The first ever State of Origin match at the MCG (and second in Melbourne) was Game II of the 1994 series, and the attendance of 87,161 set a new record rugby league crowd in Australia. The MCG was also the venue for Game II of the 1995 State of Origin series and drew 52,994, the most of any game that series. The second game of the 1997 State of Origin series, which, due to the Super League war only featured Australian Rugby League-signed players, was played there too, but only attracted 25,105, the lowest in a series that failed to attract over 35,000 to any game.[65]

The Melbourne Storm played two marquee games at the MCG in 2000. This was the first time that they had played outside of their normal home ground of Olympic Park Stadium which held 18,500 people. Their first game was held on 3 March 2000 against the St. George Illawarra Dragons in a rematch of the infamous 1999 NRL Grand Final. Dragons player Anthony Mundine said the Storm were 'not worthy premiers' and they responded by running in 12 tries to two, winning 70–10 in front of 23,239 fans. This was their biggest crowd they had played against until 33,427 turned up to the 2007 Preliminary Final at Docklands Stadium which saw Melbourne defeat the Parramatta Eels 26–10. The record home and away crowd record has also been overhauled, when a match at Docklands in 2010 against St George attracted 25,480 spectators. Their second game attracted only 15,535 spectators and was up against the Cronulla Sharks on 24 June 2000. Once again, the Storm won 22–16.

It was announced in June 2014 that the ground would host its first State of Origin match since 1997.[66] Game II of the 2015 series was played at the venue, with an all-time record State of Origin crowd of 91,513 attending the match.[67] The attendance is 19th on the all time rugby league attendance list and the 4th highest rugby league attendance in Australia.

The MCG hosted its fifth State of Origin match on 6 June 2018. In front of a crowd of 87,122, the third largest State of Origin crowd in Victoria, New South Wales defeated Queensland 22–12.[68]

Panoramic photo of the MCG in Rugby League mode from the Great Southern Stand during the 1st game of the 2018 State of Origin series



On 9 February 2006 Victorian premier Steve Bracks and Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy announced that the MCG would host a world class soccer event each year from 2006 until 2009 inclusive.[69]

Australia and Greece playing an International Friendly at the MCG on 25 May 2006.

The agreement sees an annual fixture at the MCG, beginning with a clash between Australia and European champions Greece on 25 May 2006 in front of a sell-out crowd of 95,103, before Australia left to contest in the World Cup finals. Australia beat Greece 1–0. The Socceroos also hosted a match in 2007 against Argentina, losing 1–0, as well as 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches in 2009 against Japan, which attracted 81,872 fans as Australia beat Japan 2–1 via 2 Tim Cahill headers after falling behind 1–0 late in the 1st half. In 2010 it was announced that as a warm up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup which the Australians had qualified for, they would play fellow qualified nation New Zealand on 24 May at the MCG.

Other matches played at the MCG include the following:

Panoramic image of the MCG in soccer mode ahead of a pre-season tournament match between Real Madrid and Manchester City (24 July 2015).



The MCG is a popular venue for concert acts, with the first rock concert to be held at the ground was one by David Cassidy in 1974, In 1978 David Bowie held a concert there. In 1993, Paul McCartney, U2 and Madonna held three concerts, with the highest attendances for a music concert at MCG, with 147,241 tickets sold.[75] The Rolling Stones held concerts in 1995, Michael Jackson in 1996, the Three Tenors in 1997, Elton John and Billy Joel in 1998.

The MCG hosted the Police with Special Guests Fergie & Fiction Plane on Australia Day 2008; the first MCG concert in 10 years.

The MCG hosted Sound Relief, a concert donating all revenues to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal with performances from Kings of Leon, Midnight Oil, Split Enz, Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors, Wolfmother, Jet and Bliss N Eso, among others. It was held on 14 March 2009 with 80,518 in attendance.[76]

The MCG held a Guns N' Roses concert on 14 February 2017 with 73,756 in attendance.[76]

The MCG held a free The Killers concert on 30 September 2017, after the 2017 AFL Grand Final.

On 3 December 2022, the MCG held a Guns N' Roses concert as part of the Guns N' Roses 2020 Tour.

On 10 December 2022, the MCG held a Billy Joel concert as part of the Billy Joel in Concert tour.

The MCG held an Eminem concert on 24 February 2019 with 80,708 tickets sold, at the time the highest attendance for a single concert at the MCG. The concert also marked the highest attended show of Eminem's career.[76]

The MCG hosted two Ed Sheeran concerts on 2 and 3 March 2023 as part of the +–=÷x Tour. Playing in-the-round, the attendance on 2 March was 108,000, Sheeran's biggest concert and 3 March was 109,500, exceeding the previous concert attendance record set by Eminem.[77]

The MCG hosted three Taylor Swift concerts on 16, 17, and 18 February 2024 as part of The Eras Tour.[78] The three concerts were attended by 96,000 people each night,[79] drawing a collective audience of 288,000.[80] The shows broke the MCG's record for the most tickets sold by one artist at the venue, according to the promoter Frontier Touring.[81]

Other uses




In 1878 the Melbourne Cricket Club's Lawn Tennis Committee laid an asphalt court at the MCG and Victoria's first game of tennis was played there. A second court of grass was laid in 1879 and the first Victorian Championship played on it in 1880. The first inter-colonial championship was played in 1883 and the first formal inter-state match between NSW and Victoria played in 1884 with Victoria winning.

In 1889 the MCC arranged for tennis to be played at the Warehousemen's Cricket Ground (now known as the Albert Cricket Ground), at Albert Park, rather than at the MCG.



It was at the MCG in 1869 that one of Australia's first bicycle races was held. The event was for velocipedes, crude wooden machines with pedals on the front wheels. In 1898 the Austral Wheel Race was held at the MCG attracting a crowd of 30,000 to see cyclists race for a total of £400 in prize money, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning £240, £120, and £40 respectively.[82]


  • Queen Elizabeth II visited the MCG in 1954 twice for an assembly and display. She attended a Richmond versus Fitzroy match on 5 April 1970,[83] and also attended the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony at the ground on 15 March 2006.
  • A record for attendance at the grounds was set by religious leader Billy Graham whose event in 1959 was attended by at least 143,000 people.[84]
  • Pope John Paul II held a service at the MCG on 27 November 1986, and a celebration there of the Polish community the next day
  • On 5 November 2010, the MCG hosted the Starting Line and opening challenge for The Amazing Race Australia 1.[85] This episode aired on 16 May 2011.
  • On 6 October 2018, the MCG hosted WWE Super Show-Down.
  • On 30 March 2022, the MCG hosted the state memorial service for Shane Warne.

General records

MCG from a city building.

Sporting records

  • First ever Test Cricket match (Australia v England) – 1877
  • First ever One day international Cricket match – 1971
  • Highest first class cricket score – 1107 (Victoria v NSW, 1926)
  • Australia's first international Lacrosse match (Australia v Canada, 1907, 30,000)
  • Fastest ball bowled in a Cricket match in Australia, 3rd fastest in the world – 160.7 km/h (Shaun Tait, Australia v Pakistan, 5 February 2010)

Attendance records

All-time highest attendance records at the MCG
Number Attendance Event Date
1 143,000 Billy Graham, Crusade 15 March 1959
2 121,696 VFL Grand Final, Carlton v Collingwood 26 September 1970
3 120,000 40th Eucharistic Congress 25 February 1973
4 119,195 VFL Grand Final, Carlton v Richmond 27 September 1969
5 118,192 VFL Grand Final, Hawthorn v St Kilda 25 September 1971
  • Highest Australian religious event attendance – 143,750 (Billy Graham crusade, 1959)[86]
  • Highest VFL/AFL attendance at a home-and-away match – 99,256 (Melbourne v Collingwood, 1958).[87]
  • Highest VFL/AFL attendance at a final and highest Australian sporting event attendance – 121,696 (Collingwood v Carlton, 1970)[88]
  • Highest soccer crowd at MCG (Clubs International Friendly) – 99,382 (International Champions Cup, Manchester City v Real Madrid, 24 July 2015)
  • Highest soccer crowd at MCG (National Team vs National Team) – 97,103 (Australia v Greece, 2006)
  • Highest single-day attendance in Test Cricket history – 91,092 (2013 Boxing Day Test, Day 1 – Australia v England)
  • Highest One Day International Cricket crowd – 93,013 (2015 Cricket World Cup Final, Australia v New Zealand)
  • Highest Twenty20 International Cricket crowd – 90,293 (2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Super 12 round – India v Pakistan, 23 October 2022)
  • Highest Twenty20 Domestic Cricket crowd – 80,883 (Melbourne Stars v Melbourne Renegades, 2015–16 Big Bash League season)[89]
  • Highest women's cricket crowd - 86,174 (2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup Final, Australia Women v India Women)
  • Highest State of Origin rugby league crowd – 91,513 (Game II, 17 June 2015)

Stadium records

  • World's first all colour cricket scoreboard with instant replays
  • World's first electronic sight screens
  • World's first super sopper
  • World's first scrolling signage at an oval-shaped ground
  • First time an international Cricket match was played on a one-piece portable pitch, Boxing Day Test, 2000
  • World's tallest floodlights[90]

Test cricket records

Don Bradman still holds the record for most runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Jack Hobbs scored 1,178 runs in 18 innings at the ground; a record for non-Australians.
Matthew Hayden scored six centuries, second only to Bradman with nine.


Most career runs[91]
Runs Player Period
1,671 (17 innings)   Don Bradman 1928–1948
1,338 (28 innings)   Ricky Ponting 1995–2011
1,284 (30 innings)   Steve Waugh 1985–2003
1,272 (36 innings)   Allan Border 1978–1993
1,257 (31 innings)   Greg Chappell 1971–1983
Most career runs (non-Australia)[92]
Runs Player Period
1,178 (18 innings)   Jack Hobbs 1908–1929
724 (7 innings)   Herbert Sutcliffe 1925–1933
661 (15 innings)   Colin Cowdrey 1954–1975
606 (11 innings)   Viv Richards 1975–1988
505 (12 innings)   Wally Hammond 1928–1947
Highest individual scores[93]
Runs Player Date
307 v. England   Bob Cowper 11 Feb 1966
270 v. England   Don Bradman 1 Jan 1937
268 v. Pakistan   Graham Yallop 26 Dec 1983
257 v. India   Ricky Ponting 26 Dec 2003
250 v. England   Justin Langer 26 Dec 2002
Most centuries[94]
Centuries Player Period
9 (17 innings)   Don Bradman 1928–1948
6 (19 innings)   Matthew Hayden 1996–2008
5 (18 innings)   Jack Hobbs 1908–1929
4 (7 innings)   Herbert Sutcliffe 1925–1933
4 (13 innings)   Bill Lawry 1962–1971
4 (14 innings)   Steve Smith 2010–2021
4 (28 innings)   Ricky Ponting 1995–2011
4 (31 innings)   Greg Chappell 1971–1983
4 (36 innings)   Allan Border 1978–1993
Highest batting average (5+ innings)[95]
Average Player Period
128.53 (17 innings, 4 NO)   Don Bradman 1928–1948
103.42 (7 innings, 0 NO)   Herbert Sutcliffe 1925–1933
101.20 (5 innings, 0 NO)   Bob Cowper 1964–1968
87.00 (6 innings, 1 NO)   Alastair Cook 2006–2017
84.72 (15 innings, 4 NO)   Steve Smith 2010–2021


Dennis Lillee has taken the most wickets at the ground, with 82. Statue at the MCG pictured.
Most career wickets[96]
Wickets Player Period
82 (26 innings)   Dennis Lillee 1972–1983
56 (21 innings)   Shane Warne 1992–2006
46 (13 innings)   Hugh Trumble 1894–1904
45 (14 innings)   Graham McKenzie 1962–1968
42 (22 innings)   Glenn McGrath 1995–2006
Sydney Barnes took 35 wickets in ten innings; the most of any non-Australian.
Most career wickets (non-Australia)[97]
Wickets Player Period
35 (10 innings)   Sydney Barnes 1902–1912
27 (8 innings)   Bobby Peel 1885–1895
22 (8 innings)   Billy Bates 1881–1885
22 (8 innings)   Alec Bedser 1947–1951
22 (8 innings)   Sarfraz Nawaz 1972–1983
Best innings figures[98]
Figures Player Date
9/86 v. Australia   Sarfraz Nawaz 10 Mar 1979
9/121 v. England   Arthur Mailey 11 Feb 1921
8/68 v. Australia   Wilfred Rhodes 1 Jan 1904
8/71 v. West Indies   Graham McKenzie 26 Dec 1968
8/81 v. Australia   Len Braund 5 Mar 1904
8/143 v. England   Max Walker 8 Feb 1975
Best match figures[99]
Figures Player Date
15/124 v. Australia   Wilfred Rhodes 1 Jan 1904
14/102 v. Australia   Billy Bates 19 Jan 1883
13/77 v. England   Monty Noble 1 Jan 1902
13/110 v. England   Fred Spofforth 2 Jan 1879
13/148 v. England   Bruce Reid 26 Dec 1990
13/163 v. Australia   Sydney Barnes 1 Jan 1902
13/165 v. Australia   Hugh Tayfield 24 Dec 1952
13/236 v. England   Arthur Mailey 11 Feb 1921
Lowest strike rate (4+ innings)[100]
Strike rate Player Period
22.6 (6 wickets)   John Hodges 1877–1877
31.1 (10 wickets)   Laurie Nash 1932–1937
31.1 (15 wickets)   Jasprit Bumrah 2018–2020
32.6 (35 wickets)   Bruce Reid 1985–1991
32.7 (18 wickets)   Michael Holding 1976–1981
Steve Smith made 165*, as Australia totalled 8/624 declared in 2016.

Team records

Highest innings scores[101]
Score Team Date
8/624d   Australia v. Pakistan 26 Dec 2016
604   Australia v. England 26 Feb 1937
600   Australia v. England 1 Jan 1925
589   England v. Australia 9 Feb 1912
578   Australia v. South Africa 17 Feb 1911
Lowest completed innings[102]
Score Team Date
36   South Africa v. Australia 12 Feb 1932
45   South Africa v. Australia 12 Feb 1932
61   England v. Australia 1 Jan 1902
61   England v. Australia 5 Mar 1904
67   India v. Australia 6 Feb 1948

Partnership records

Highest partnerships[103]
Runs Wicket Players Match Date
346 6th Don Bradman (270) & Jack Fingleton (136)   Australia v.   England 1 Jan 1937
323 1st Wilfred Rhodes (179) & Jack Hobbs (178)   England v.   Australia 9 Feb 1912
298 2nd Bill Lawry (205) & Ian Chappell (165)   Australia v.   West Indies 26 Dec 1968
283 1st Herbert Sutcliffe (176) & Jack Hobbs (154)   England v.   Australia 1 Jan 1925
279 6th Andrew Symonds (156) & Matthew Hayden (153)   Australia v.   England 26 Dec 2006
Highest partnerships by wicket[104]
Runs Wicket Players Match Date
323 1st Wilfred Rhodes (179) & Jack Hobbs (178)   England v.   Australia 9 Feb 1912
298 2nd Bill Lawry (205) & Ian Chappell (165)   Australia v.   West Indies 26 Dec 1968
249 3rd Don Bradman (169) & Stan McCabe (112)   Australia v.   England 26 Feb 1937
262 4th Virat Kohli (169) & Ajinkya Rahane (147)   India v.   Australia 26 Dec 2014
223* 5th Don Bradman (127*) & Arthur Morris (100*)   Australia v.   India 1 Jan 1948
346 6th Don Bradman (270) & Jack Fingleton (136)   Australia v.   England 1 Jan 1937
185 7th Graham Yallop (268) & Greg Matthews (75)   Australia v.   Pakistan 26 Dec 1983
173 8th Nip Pellew (116) & Jack Gregory (100)   Australia v.   England 31 Dec 1920
180 9th JP Duminy (166) & Dale Steyn (76)   South Africa v.   Australia 26 Dec 2008
120 10th Reggie Duff (104) & Warwick Armstrong (45*)   Australia v.   England 1 Jan 1902

All records correct as of 8 July 2021.

ODI records

  • Highest ODI Total: 5/355 – Australia vs. England, 22 November 2022[105]
  • Highest Individual ODI Score: 180 (151) – Jason Roy, England vs Australia, 14 January 2018[106]
  • Best ODI Innings Bowling Figures: 6/42 – Ajit Agarkar, India vs. Australia, 9 January 2004 and Yuzvendra Chahal, India vs. Australia, 18 January 2019[107]
  • Highest ODI Partnership: 269 (for the first wicket) – Travis Head & David Warner, Australia vs. England, 22 November 2022[108]

Last updated 26 December 2022.

Twenty20 International records

  • Highest Twenty20 Total: 5/186 – India vs. Zimbabwe, 6 November 2022[109]
  • Highest Individual Twenty20 Score: 89 (43) – David Warner, Australia vs. South Africa, 11 January 2009[110]
  • Best Twenty20 Innings Bowling Figures: 4/30 – Josh Hazlewood, Australia vs. England, 31 January 2014[111]
  • Highest Twenty20 Partnership: 113 (for the fifth wicket) – Virat Kohli & Hardik Pandya, India vs. Pakistan, 23 October 2022[112]

Last updated 26 December 2022.

VFL/AFL records


All records correct as of 16 April 2024.[113]



Founding statue

Statue of cricketer and Australian rules football pioneer Tom Wills umpiring an 1858 football match
Statue Sport Unveiled Location Link
Tom Wills
Commemorative sculpture for the first game of Australian rules football
Cricket and
Australian rules football
2001 Outside MCG (between Gates 2 and 3) Non-MCG

Tattersall's Parade of Champions


The Tattersall's Parade of the Champions undertaking is a gift to the people of Australia by Tattersall's and is a focal point of the Yarra Park precinct.

The MCG is a magnet for tourists worldwide and the statues reinforce the association between the elite sportsmen and women who have competed here and the stadium that rejoiced in their performances.

Statue Sport Unveiled Location Link
Sir Donald Bradman Cricket 2003, May Outside gate 5 MCG
Betty Cuthbert Track and field 2003, August Outside gate 3 MCG
Ron Barassi Australian rules football 2003, September Outside gate 4 MCG
Keith Miller Cricket 2004, February Outside gate 5 MCG
Dick Reynolds Australian rules football 2004, June Outside gate 6 MCG
Shirley Strickland Track and field 2004, November Outside gate 3 MCG
Haydn Bunton, Sr. Australian rules football 2005, April Outside gate 6 MCG
Leigh Matthews Australian rules football 2005, August Outside gate 4 MCG
Bill Ponsford Cricket 2005, December Outside gate 1 MCG
Dennis Lillee Cricket 2006, December Outside gate 1 MCG

Australia Post Avenue of Legends

The statue of Shane Warne in 2022. The statue became a makeshift memorial to Warne shortly after his death

In 2010, the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) announced an expansion to the list of sporting statues placed around the MCG precinct in partnership with Australia Post.

The Australia Post Avenue of Legends project aimed to place a minimum of five statues in Yarra Park, extending from the gate 2 MCC members entrance up the avenue towards Wellington Parade. The most recent addition of Kevin Bartlett was unveiled in March 2017.

Statue Sport Unveiled Location Link
Shane Warne Cricket 2011, December Outside gate 2 MCG
Norm Smith Australian rules football 2012, September Near Jolimont Station MCG
John Coleman Australian rules football 2013, September Outside gate 2 MCG
Neil Harvey Cricket 2014, January Near Jolimont Station MCG
Jim Stynes Australian rules football 2014, September Outside gate 2 MCG
Kevin Bartlett Australian rules football 2017, March Near Jolimont Station MCG

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Further reading

  • Cashman, Richard (1995) Paradise of Sport Melbourne: Oxford University Press
  • Cuthbert, Betty (1966) Golden Girl
  • Gordon, Harry (1994) Australia and the Olympic Games Brisbane: University of Queensland Press
  • Hinds, Richard (1997) Low blows. Sport’s top 10 Sydney Morning Herald 1 November
  • Linnell, Garry (1995) Football Ltd Sydney: Ironbark Pan Macmillan Australia
  • Pollard, Jack (1990) Australia Test Match Grounds London: Willow Books
  • Plan of the Town and Suburbs of Melbourne 1843
  • Vamplew, Wray; Moore, Katharine; O’Hara, John; Cashman, Richard; and Jobling, Ian [editors] (1997) The Oxford Companion to Australian Sport Second Edition Melbourne: Oxford University Press
Events and tenants
Preceded by Summer Olympics
Main Venue (Melbourne Cricket Ground)

Succeeded by
Preceded by Olympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by Summer Olympics
Football Men's Finals (Melbourne Cricket Ground)

Succeeded by
Preceded by Cricket World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Preceded by Cricket World Cup
Final Venue

Succeeded by