On Friday Night at the MCG, Melbourne showed why they should host the 2015 Cricket World Cup final.
A crowd of 62,275 attended the Twenty/20, eclipsing the 59,659 at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, albeit in rainy conditions. That was the biggest crowd to ever attend a day of cricket in New South Wales. The MCG has never had a T20 crowd under that figure.
Melbourne is the sporting capital of Australia, and arguably the world. If the final was to be played in Sydney, we would know what the only reason for them hosting it would be: Tourism, because of the iconic Opera House are Harbour Bridge in Sydney. The MCG also has a larger seating capaticy of 100,018, to ANZ Stadium’s 83,500.
When Australia last hosted the World Cup in 1992, the MCG did host the final. The Great Southern Stand was actually construted for the Cup. 87,182 packed out the ground for an England VS Pakistan match, which the latter ended up winning.
Sydneysiders are unfortunately notorious for not turning up in big numbers to sporting events. The highest NRL regular season crowd for a match in Sydney was 34,976 in Round 7 at the SFS between Sydney and the Dragons. Compare this to the AFL’s highest Melbourne Crowd of 89,626 at the MCG on ANZAC Day and it shows how much Mebourne’s dominance is.
It’s well known that ODI crowds are in decline, with people, and particulary younger families prefering the shorter version of the game. Will Australia’s impressive test performances improve crowds when Australia take on India and Sri Lanka in the upcoming series?
The MCG hosted the first ever test match in 1877 and the first ever ODI in 1971 and it has the largest stadium capacity in Australia. Surely then Melbourne should host the final?