Why Melbourne is still Australia's Sports Capital
Melbourne prides itself on being the sports capital of Australia, with its enviable sporting precinct of stadiums, pools, tracks and fields. In fact, it’s often commented that sport is like a religion in the Victorian capital city.
Melbourne famously hosts international events, like the Australian Open, legendary Boxing Day cricket test at the MCG and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. There are rumblings that New South Wales is trying to lure the coveted Grand Prix to Sydney, but their chances look very slim. Melbourne has decreed to fight for their F1 and has no intention of giving up their sporting crown.
Sport is in every Melburnian’s blood. Kids grow up playing Aussie Rules footy (AFL), netball, basketball, soccer and cricket; and that’s just for starters.
Barely a week goes by without a team to barrack for or sports stars to cheer on. We’ve checked the 2022 fixtures and found some of our favourite sporting events.
AFL Round One – a game that’s as Australian as meat pies and Holden cars, the footy season kicks off the week of 16 March, 2022. Last year’s top teams will battle it out in a Grand Final re-match for the first round. Then the season plays out until the new premiers are decided on the last Saturday in September.
Australian Grand Prix – four adrenaline-fuelled days to watch the Formula 1 cars fly around the Albert Park track, from 7-10 April. The street circuit has a long racing history, but it didn’t become part of the Formula 1 World Championship until 1995. That’s a sore point with some South Australian’s, who accused Melbourne of stealing the race that had been held in Adelaide since 1985.
WWE Live – returning on Saturday, 6 August, WWE is celebrating over 35 years of touring Australia. You know that any World Wrestling Entertainment event is going to be a wild night of giant sports stars putting their bodies on the line with fake face slams, bone-crushing holds and thrilling antics that get all the crowd up off their seats.
Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix - The first Australian Grand Prix for racing cars was held at the scenic Phillip Island track way back in 1928. In the 1980’s the circuit underwent major restoration works to get it up to speed and since 1997 it has hosted the Moto GP.
Melbourne Cup Carnival – everyone knows it as the “race that stops the nation” and it’s true. On the first Tuesday in November, this world-famous horse race attracts the best jockeys and best horses that can last over 3,200 metres in hope of winning the elusive solid gold cup.
Cock of the Bay – otherwise known as the ‘Boxing Day Dash’, this popular yacht race is a whole lot of fun. But that’s not to say that there aren’t keen sailors who really want to be holding the trophy at the end of the 34 nautical miles bay race.
You can add the RipCurl Pro surfing championship at Bells Beach on the Great Ocean Road. Monster Truck Mania leaves its mark in April. The national polo series happens in November and the Oceania’s new Iroman 70.3 is coming to St Kilda in March and November for its Melbourne debut.
Undeniably, Melbourne is the home of sport in Australia (and some say the world) and there are plenty more events to choose from. If there’s a sport you’d love to see played live, or just want to experience the atmosphere when stadium crowds cheer like crazy, then it can be a thrill to coincide your trip to Melbourne with a big game. Strap yourself in, hit your stride, keep your eye on the ball and get set for a personal best holiday in Australia’s sporting capital.
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