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206 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne 3000
If you are lucky enough to be in Melbourne over the winter months then you should try and take the opportunity to go along to see a game of local football - Australian Rules Football. There is some discussion as to the origins of this game with the general belief being held that the game is based on the traditional Gaelic football that would have come across with the Irish settlers at the time when the original colony of Melbourne was being settled. There are also those who believe that the game is based on the local Indigenous football game played at the time known as Marngrook, which involves two sides keeping a ball in the air as much as possible by kicking it perpendicularly from the hands, and then celebrating those who marked the ball. Some tribes even call the action of catching the ball — made from possum fur — "mumark" which is very similar to the term "mark" which is now part of the leagues vocab.
Over the years the league has expanded from Melbourne to become a truly national league with 5 states now represented and games being held around the country. The final series is held every year from Late August and culminates with the Grand Final played on the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of a crowd that is close to 100,000 people and shown around the world - the game is so popular that the day prior to the game ( a Friday) has now been declared a Public Holiday in Melbourne. In the last few years a womens competition has started (AFLW) and is a much shorter competition that takes place before the men's season officially starts.
Information on teams and individual games can be found on the AFL website.
Completed in 2000 this is headquarters of the AFL and has recently had a name change from Etihad Stadium, it's the closest stadium to Pegasus just a short 10 minute walk away. The stadium was primarily designed for AFL football with several of the Melbourne based teams using this as their home ground. The unique feature of this stadium is that it has a fully retractable roof which is always closed for AFL games which means you can watch the game in comfort no matter what the weather is like outside.
The stadium is also used for other sporting events, concerts and meetings and has a maximum capacity for AFL matches of approx 55,000 people but can accommodate more depending on the configuration of the ground with its unique retractable seating. There are tours of the Stadium available Monday to Friday (not on game days or major events) - see the website for more information.
THE MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND
Known around the country as the MCG and here in Melbourne as just "The G" the ground has been part of Melbourne's story since the beginning and the ground was established by the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1853 just 20 years after the first white colony appeared in Melbourne. Since then the ground has established itself as one of the greatest sporting arenas in the world with a capacity close to 100,000 screaming fans. The stadium is host to several AFL clubs as their home ground and in the summer also hosts national and international cricket, concerts and was also the main stadium for the 1956 Summer Olympics and in 1986 Pope John Paul II held a mass on the arena.
An MCG Tour is an absolute must on any Melbourne visit. The guided tour is the only opportunity to get an exclusive, behind the scenes peek of one of the world’s most iconic sports stadiums but is also a chance to hear about the history and secrets of the ‘G. Within the ground you will also find the The National Sports Museum and this is unique amongst sports and stadium museums around the world.It brings together the history of the Melbourne Cricket Club and the MCG itself as well as more than 3500 objects across countless sports. And with an interactive sports gallery called Game On for visitors to experience the thrill of participation, there is truly something for everyone.More Information
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