If you live in Victoria, you either agree or are aware that we are the sporting capital of Australia and the MCG is Melbourne’s Colosseum.

A number of our office members were quite interested in the recent reports that the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) who are the custodians of the MCG are currently preparing a feasibility study to determine the future of the Great Southern Stand, which encompasses almost half of the ground to ensure that the G does not become overtaken as the best in the country by another Austrialin stadium, many of which have or are currently being redeveloped or plan to be in the near future.

It was reported that the redevelopment would cost in the vicinity of 1 billion dollars which is a significant sum of money, and many would argue that it would be more appropriately spent on health or education however it could also be argued that recreation is also an important social need (particularly after the last two years) in addition to the benefits that flow from Tourism etc.

The MCG is an iconic Melbourne, and even Australian, place and therefore needs to be looked at more than simply a sports stadium as it, directly and indirectly, provides so much more.

In our view, any redevelopment of the G should look further than just the stands and should look at the wider precinct and how it connects to the City, Tennis Precinct, AAMI Park and Richmond (particularly the Richmond Train Station) and consider how this area could be activated all the time rather than just on game day.

This would obviously come at a much greater cost however, if done well would be enjoyed for many years to come and consolidate Melbourne's claim to being the sporting capital of Australia and also create another iconic public space for Victorians and visitors to enjoy much like Federation Square or the Arts Precinct.

It will be interesting to see what the feasibility study suggests and what actually happens, as we believe there is a fantastic opportunity here to make an icon of Melbourne (and its surrounds) the envy of the sporting world.

Source: https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/mcg...

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