Posted on 15. Sep, 2010 in Victoria

Melbourne’s iconic MCG will remain the jewel in the crown of Victoria’s world-class sporting precinct thanks to a $55 million upgrade to the ground’s Great Southern Stand.

Premier John Brumby and Sports Minister James Merlino today joined Melbourne Cricket Club President David Meiklejohn and AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou to release plans for the redevelopment and announce an additional $25 million towards the project.

“The MCG is our nation’s greatest sports venue, one of our proudest icons, and has been recognised as one of the best sporting stadiums in the world,” Mr Brumby said.

“More than 150,000 footy fans are expected to flock to the ground this weekend to watch their clubs battle it out in the Preliminary Finals and there is no better place to watch footy than at the people’s ground.

“It’s now been 20 years since the Great Southern Stand was built, and it is now the right time to make the necessary improvements to ensure the MCG continues to deliver the world-class sporting experience that it is famous for.

“We’re investing in our key sporting infrastructure to ensure Melbourne continues to attract the big events that give us the edge and boost tourism and investment.”

Mr Brumby said the Melbourne Cricket Club had contributed a further $25 million to the redevelopment on top of the Victorian Government’s $30 million, and the project would include:

  • Upgrades to food and beverage areas, concourses and toilets;
  • Improved entry points to the stadium, ensuring a more streamlined ticketing process;
  • Refurbishment of function rooms and sports bars to provide improved viewing areas, similar to those offered in the Northern Stand; and
  • Updated audio visual equipment, including installation of plasma screens.


Mr Merlino said that the Great Southern Stand had undergone detailed planning and design work and this redevelopment would ensure the stadium remains Australia’s biggest and best.

“By working together, we’re going to deliver an even better MCG, which will complement Melbourne’s world-class stadiums at Etihad and AAMI Park,” Mr Merlino said.

Mr Meiklejohn said the funding again underlined the commitment that the Melbourne Cricket Club had made to ensuring the MCG remained one of the world’s finest multi-purpose stadiums.

“The MCC, through the continued financial support provided by our members, is committed to the ongoing development of this great ground that spans almost 160 years,” Mr Meiklejohn said.

“I acknowledge the strong support of the Victorian Government and the substantial effort of our partners at the AFL in achieving this outcome.”

MCG Trust Chairman John Wylie said the investment in improving the Great Southern Stand comes only four years after the completion of the $465 million Northern Stand redevelopment project and builds on the recent $22 million commitment to water recycling and other improvements in Yarra Park.

 “This is testament to the commitment of the Victorian Government, the MCG Trust and the MCC to the continuous development and improvement of the MCG to ensure it remains Australia’s best sporting stadium,” Mr Wylie said.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said the upgrade would provide a boost for fans.

“The MCG is the great sporting ground and this year more than 2.7 million football supporters have been to AFL games at the ground,’ Mr Demetriou said.

“We greatly appreciate the support of the Victorian Government and the MCC and in partnership we will continue to work to deliver the best possible facilities for sports fans,’ Mr Demetriou said.

“September is the month when the MCG really shines and to see a full MCG as we will this week reinforces the importance of the ground to our game and to supporters across the country.”

Construction is expected to begin in June 2011, in time for the 2013 AFL season.

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