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Updated: 13/10/2008


Melbourne Cricket Ground


The MCG, or the "Gee" as it is affectionately known, is the "Mecca" for Australian Rules Football (along with Australian Cricket.)

The record attendance at the ground is 121,696 for the 1970 Carlton v Collingwood Grand Final. The more recent building of the Great Southern Stand and restraints on patrons due to safety factors, has seen the seating reduced to approximately 97,000.

Although the Melbourne Cricket Club members were instrumental in the formation and codification of Australian Football, the MCG was not initially allowed to be used for football for fear that it would damage the wicket area. Interestingly the same argument surfaces every February and March when the cricket and football seasons overlap.

Football games were played in the parklands beside the ground. A trial game against the police was played on the MCG in 1869 but it was not till 1879, after the formation of the VFA, that the first official match was played on the ground. The formation of the breakaway VFL in 1897 has seen all Grand Finals played at the MCG since 1902. The only exception was in 1991 when the Great Southern Stand was being built and the grounds seating capacity was decreased and the game was played at Waverley.

FDI on 43c MCG Stamp

In 1897 and 1924 the Premiership was decided without a Grand Final match but by the leading team after the home and away series.

Initially Melbourne Football Club had the ground to themselves but ground rationalisation has meant that they were joined by Richmond (1965), North Melbourne (1984) and Essendon (1992) to play all their home games at the MCG. Collingwood since 1993 has played some home games at the MCG while still playing some games at Victoria Park. The 2000 season and the building of Colonial Stadium saw Essendon move their home to the new Stadium while Collingwood finally left Victoria Park to play all their home games at the MCG.

1996 AFL Cent Cover with Melb Stamp and MCG PM on FDI
Above is the AFL Centenary Cover with the Melbourne Sheetlet  Stamp and MCG PM on FDI of the stamp.

Cricket is the summer tenant, although more recently the MCG has been the venue for rock concerts, rugby league, rugby union and soccer games.

1956 saw the staging of the Olympics at the MCG. Between 1957 and 1960 The Dominican Republic issued 40 Olympic stamps with 32 commemorating the Melbourne Games. There were also several surcharge overprints and Miniature Sheets.

The ground also played an important part in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, at Stadium Australia,  with the Torch Relay and hosting preliminary soccer matches.

On the 23rd September 2003, the MCG celebrated its 150th Anniversary. Five covers were released by First Class Collectables. One cover commemorated the 1956 Olympics and another the 1996 Centenary Afl Grand Final. Three covers had a cricket theme, one showing Don Bradman, another Fred Spofforth and the third showed Tom Wills and an aboriginal team commemorating the intricate links between Indigenous Australians, the AFL, the MCC and the MCG. Another cover was issued by M&C Covers, Melbourne. (The Cover Collector No.6).

The 2004 Athens Olympics saw the first International Torch Relay with the Olympic Flame visiting all the cities that had hosted the Modern Olympics. The relayed started in Melbourne on the 5th June 2004. The Torch entered the MCG at half time of the Essendon v Hawthorn Match and was carried by Ron Barrassi and Betty Cuthbert. Other AFL support runners were Chris Judd and Chad Morrisson from the West Coast Eagles, and Shane Wakelin and Shane Woewodin from Collingwood.

The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held at the MCG from the 15-26th March.