Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, is frequently chosen and acknowledged as the sporting capital of the world. Melbourne is second biggest city in Australia but were chosen the sporting capital of the decade in 2016. The people of Melbourne are actually sports crazy and it doesn’t matter just what the sport is, the crowds in the city turn out for it.
So why is Melbourne the sports capital and how did it get to be the sports capital? First of all, the city has a rich sporting history and culture. The city was established in 1835 and sport was a feature of city lifestyle right from then, with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) being formed in 1838. The now prominent Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) opened in 1853. It’s still there and is now the premier sports arena in the country. Different kinds of football grew to become also popular in Melbourne’s formative years, in due course bringing about its own sport – Australian Rules Football, or ‘footy’ as it’s called by the local people. The very first Melbourne Cup horse race took place in 1861 and is still going. The initial Australian tennis championships took place in 1905 and is still held there. Melbourne put on the 1956 Olympics.
Community sports activity is really a considerable part of the the cities life style and involvement rates in the city are probably the highest globally. This is easily witnessed each and every weekend you will see just how prominent local community sporting activities is with people actively taking part and enjoying a variety of sporting activities for example cricket, tennis, footy, rugby, netball, basketball, baseball, golf as well as soccer. They play an important part of so many people’s community lives and health and fitness. When people in Melbourne aren’t playing sport, they are fans of viewing sport. The Australian Football League grand final draws 100 000 fans to the MCG. Rugby Union is not a well-known or a common sport in the city, but Melbourne stills hold the world record for the highest number of fans to go to see a game live!
Along with the 1956 Olympic Games, Melbourne continues to host world class sports entertainment. Every year, there is the F1 Australian Grand Prix, the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam, the Spring Horse racing Carnival, the MotoGP, the Boxing Day cricket international game along with the Rip Curl Pro surfing competition. There are the major AFL, National Rugby League, or Australian A-League (soccer) matches on most weekends. There have recently been other major one-off events like the Commonwealth Games, the Cricket World Cup, World swimming championships and also Asian Cup soccer.
All of this is backed up by lots of first class sports stadiums including the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Melbourne Park, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Park, Hisense Arena, Etihad Stadium, Flemington Racecourse, State Netball and Hockey Centre, Margaret Court Arena and the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit and that is an infrastructure which is not close to being surpassed by any other location in the world. It is easy to see how and the reason why Melbourne is considered the sporting capital of the world and exactly why sports activity is such a part of the way of life around Australia.