The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the World, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light towers at any sporting venue. The MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is serviced by the Richmond railway station, Richmond and the Jolimont railway station, East Melbourne. It is part of the Melbourne Sports And Entertainment Precinct.
Internationally, the MCG is remembered as the centrepiece stadium of both the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The open-air stadium is also one of the world's most famous cricket venues, with the well-attended Boxing Day Test match commencing on Boxing Day (26 December) each year. Throughout the winter, it serves as the home of Australian rules football, with at least one game (though usually more) held there each round. The stadium fills to capacity for the AFL Grand Final in late September, or early October. The MCG, often referred to by locals as "The G", has also hosted other major events, including International Rules between the Australian Football League (AFL) and Gaelic Athletic Association, international Rugby union, State of Origin series (rugby league), FIFA World Cup qualifiers and International Friendly matches, serves as the finish line for the Melbourne Marathon and also major rock concerts.
- Rugby League
- Australia played New Zealand in rugby union at the MCG on 26 July 1997, losing 18–33 in front of a crowd of 90,119. and in 30 June 2007, Winning 20–15 in front of a crowd of 79,322.
- During World War II the stands were used by the Australian and American armies. It was used by the US Army Air Forces who moved into the MCG and gave the name of their base "Camp Murphy". It was also used by the First Division of the US Marine Corps, an RAAF Technical Training unit and as the RAAF Personnel Depot. The RAAF stayed at the MCG until 27 October 1945.
- Queen Elizabeth II visited the MCG in 1954 twice for an assembly and display. She attended a Richmond versus Fitzroy match on 5 April 1970, and also attended the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony at the ground on 15 March 2006.
- A record for attendance at the grounds was set by religious leader Billy Graham whose event in 1959 was attended by at least 130,000 people.
- The first rock concert to be held at the ground was one by David Cassidy in 1974. In 1978 David Bowie held a concert there. In 1993, Paul McCartney, U2 and Madonna held concerts, drawing huge crowds. The Rolling Stones held concerts in 1995, Michael Jackson in 1996, the Three Tenors in 1997, Elton John and Billy Joel in 1998.
- Pope John Paul II held a service at the MCG on 27 November 1986, and a celebration there of the Polish community the next day.
- The MCG hosted the 2007 Bledisloe Cup match during the Tri Nations series.
- The MCG hosted The Police with Special Guests Fergie & Fiction Plane on Australia Day 2008; the first MCG concert in 10 years.
- The MCG hosted Sound Relief, a concert donating all revenues to the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Appeal with performances from Kings Of Leon, Midnight Oil, Split Enz, Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors, Wolfmother, Jet and Bliss N Eso, among others. It was held on 14 March 2009.
- On 5 November 2010, the MCG was the starting point for The Amazing Race Australia.