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MCG set for $50 million upgrades in audio-visual and catering
More than $50 million is set to be spent on upgrading the MCG over the next year as the venue strives to maintain its status in the increasingly competitive Australian stadium market.
Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Chief Executive Stuart Fox has told The Age that renovation work at the iconic ground is necessary for it to keep pace with newer venues such as Perth’s Optus Stadium.
With Optus Stadium having expressed an interest in becoming the new home of the Boxing Day Test, Fox is confident the fixture will remain at its long-term home, telling The Age "we are in discussions with Cricket Australia. They are progressing. Hopefully in the New Year, we can work towards a new content arrangement that will lock down the Boxing Day Test.
“Why would you want to take it away from one of the most iconic stadiums in the world that has the capacity to bring 250,000 to 300,000 people through the gates over the five days? I don’t know why you would want to ever explore taking that away.
“I certainly don’t think it is going anywhere and Cricket Australia have said that. We are, obviously, working on a new arrangement with them that will unfold in the new year but it’s a very competitive landscape across Australia. You would expect rival stadiums to be pitching for your content and that happens.”
On the possibility of the MCG hosting a day-night Test, Fox said the MCC has “pondered” what it would look like.
The day-night Test has been held in Adelaide for three consecutive years and this year will be in Brisbane when Australia take on Sri Lanka at the end of this month.
Fox advised "(the) traditional (Boxing Day) slot has worked pretty well and it’s really not our call – we are a venue for hire and Cricket Australia will determine those factors. We have pondered on it, whether we would ever make a play for it, we haven’t discussed that in any sort of detail. We have traditionally enjoyed the current slot.”
In the increasingly competitive major stadiums market, Fox is aware of the stadium’s need to innovate and revealed that a number of upgrades are planned for 2019.
He concluded "the MCG is always going to be special but I watch with great interest about stadia development. We have just got to stay ahead of the game.
“We can’t let this asset age and we have got a lot of capital works planned – a new PA system, progressing to LED sports lighting, we have got a number of public bars and catering facilities to be upgraded. I think we will spend well over $50 million in the next financial year on the stadium. I think it’s (about) being competitive and relevant across the stadia landscape.”
31st December 2018 - AFL to include VFL curtain-raisers at MCG in 2019 season
20th November 2018 - Big crowds expected for MCG T20
24th September 2018 - Melbourne Cricket Club to undertake MCG ticketing review
20th September 2018 - Growing support sees AFL fans unhappy at finals ticket allocations
1st August 2018 - MCC announces extended Ticketek partnership at MCG
19th July 2018 - MCG leads in industry recycling and sustainability initiatives
6th June 2018 - Major events boost Melbourne’s economy
24th April 2018 - AFL to deliver live player data through stadium signage
17th April 2018 - NRL agrees to take big games to Melbourne
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