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MCG set for battle against the clock
The MCG is about to began a battle to be ready for the opening match of the AFL Premiership season between Richmond and Carlton on the evening of Thursday 2nd April.
With the ICC Cricket World Cup final being played tomorrow evening (Sunday 29th March), MCG management are prepared for staff to begin a face a race against the clock to have the ground ready for the AFL season opener.
Staff will work through the night to transform the playing surface from cricket to AFL mode with less than four full days to get the ground ready, a process which not only includes the removal of the cricket pitches, but also a complete changeover of stadium signage and reconfiguration of function rooms.
In a report at AFL.com.au, Melbourne Cricket Club Chief Executive Stephen Gough admitted the turnaround would be tight, stating "I have my people who tell me they can do it, so I've told the AFL we can do it, I've told (ICC) World Cup we can do it.
"The team here have been used to that sort of pressure at times, (but it's a) little bit different with a major international tournament
"We've done it a few times on Sheffield Shield finals with a two or three-day turnaround. I'm confident we can do it again."
The AFL have backed the MCG to be ready, with spokesman Patrick Keane adding "we have complete confidence in the ground being ready for our first match.
"The MCG is the most experienced venue in Australia at moving between major events and in recent years has always had the ground in first-class condition at the start of our season, following on from previous cricket seasons."
The MCG's 2015 schedule is packed, with State of Origin rugby league and major football fixtures jammed in between regular AFL commitments.
The beginning of the AFL season has been delayed because of the Cricket World Cup with the 2015 AFL Grand Final to be played on Saturday 3rd October.
Images show the MCG in Cricket World Cup mode (top) and how it will be transformed for AFL by next Thursday (below).
Click here to view the original article from Matt Thompson at AFL media.
3rd November 2014 - SHEFFIELD SHIELD SEASON OPENER PUTS NEW MCG SURFACE TO THE TEST
28th July 2014 - 2014 MCG OPEN DAY TO FOLLOW AFL GRAND FINAL
17th September 2013 - RESPECTED FORMER SCG AND MCG CURATOR DIES
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