Melbourne Cricket Ground was constructed in 1853 and is situated at a short distance to the east of Melbourne's CBD. Affectionately known as the 'G by the people of the city, MCG has been home to Australia's biggest cricket and Australian Rules Football matches. The first Test match was played at the MCG in 1877; since then it has hosted more than 100 Tests.
During the 1956 Olympics Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games, MCG was the centerpiece of the event, hosting all track and field events, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. The ground is managed by the Melbourne Cricket Club and it also houses the National Sports Museum.
The MCG underwent redevelopment work in 1980s and 1990s, before which it could hold 125,000 spectators. However, when individual seating was extended, the seating capacity of the stadium shrunk to 97,000. With a series of latest redevelopment work for the World Cup, the MCG now boasts of a total capacity of 100,024.
The MCG is truly one of world cricket's iconic venues. Great Southern Stand, a three-tiered stand, houses around 50,000 people. Ponsford Stand, Olympic Stand and Members' Reserve have massive seating rows. It also has a Gallery of Sport, 2 giant electronic scoreboards and corporate and media boxes.
The wicket at the MCG has undergone gradual changes over the years. The surface today, offers enough for both, the batsmen and bowlers to provide fans with an even contest between bat and ball.
Steeped in history, MCG has witnessed some of the greatest events on its hallowed turf. From concerts of Madonna, U2, Michael Jackson and Rolling Stones to a Pope John Paul II mass, it undoubtedly is Australia's premier sporting venue.