The MCG: one of the world’s greatest venues prepares for Ashes showdown

There are few better things in life than being part of a 96,000-strong group of fans enjoying all the tension, excitement and carnival atmosphere of a Melbourne Cricket Ground Test Match. The iconic sports venue is one of the world’s most legendary arenas, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and this Christmas time it will play host to an eagerly-anticipated leg of the 2017/18 Ashes Series.

Journalist Greg Baum has described the MCG as “a shrine, a citadel, a landmark, a totem” that “symbolises Melbourne to the world”, and it’s true that this giant bowl has all the hallmarks of a pilgrimage site for sports fans. Known fondly as the ’G, the Melbourne Cricket Ground hosted the world’s first Test Match in 1877 and was the primary stadium of the 1956 Olympics, 2006 Commonwealth Games and two different Cricket World Cups, not to mention its alter ego as the spiritual home of Aussie Rules Football.

Boxing Day is going to be a special occasion at the ground this year: England are coming to town for the fourth of the five Ashes Tests. Already a venue famous for its great atmosphere, the noise levels are set to raise for the latest installment of the series, which is being talked about as one of the most exciting in years.

If you’re heading to Melbourne early ahead of the Test and want to soak up all the tradition and heritage of the ground, you can have a look around in advance: it’s open every day for visitors. The guided tour is a magical experience for fans, taking you into the changing rooms, out onto the hallowed turf and up to the top of the stadium for a stunning view of the Melbourne skyline from the City Terrace.

A further attraction worth a visit in itself is the National Sports Museum, which is housed at the ground. Home to the country’s largest collection of sporting memorabilia from a nation that has produced its fair share of iconic moments – the Aussies really do have sport in the blood – the museum’s interactive exhibits let you try out your goal-kicking skills against Aussie Rules players, test your reaction times versus elite athletes and more.

You can feel the history as you walk around the MCG, and there may well be more history made come Boxing Day when the Test gets underway.

If you would like to book tickets, contact us on 0333 234 2673 or click here to find out more about our flexible Test packages.