Melbourne Cricket Ground - Melbourne scores a world sporting hat-trick
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Melbourne scores a world sporting hat-trick

Apr 28, 2010

Media release issued by Victorian Government

Melbourne’s reputation as the world’s sporting capital has been reaffirmed with an international study giving the city top gong for hosting major sporting events for the third consecutive time.

Sports Minister James Merlino said Melbourne was last night named the world’s Ultimate Sports City ahead of Singapore, London, Berlin and Sydney at the SportAccord Convention in Dubai.

This is a hat-trick for Melbourne having won the coveted biannual title in 2006 and 2008.

“Victorians love their sport and this award once again confirms what Victorians have known for a long time – we are the sporting capital of the world,” Mr Merlino said.

“We are proud to support major sporting events that place Melbourne and Victoria in the national and international spotlight, promote sport, encourage investment and boost tourism in our state.

“And we have a calendar of sporting events that is envied worldwide – from the Australian Open Tennis, Formula 1 Grand Prix, AFL season and final series, to the Boxing Day Test, Spring Racing Carnival and Australian Masters Golf.

“Melbourne’s calendar is also enhanced by a suite of special events and in 2010 we will host the UCI Road World Championships, Australia and New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup and The Presidents Cup in 2011, making Melbourne the only city outside the US to host event twice.”

Mr Merlino said 25 cities were short-listed for the award, based on their history of hosting events.
 
They were ranked according to criteria including the number of annual sports events held, major events held or hosting rights secured between 2006 and 2014, numbers of federations hosted, venues, transport, government support, security, legacy, public interest and quality of life.

“We have a rich sporting legacy and our annual major sports calendar continues to build on the success of the 1956 Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in 2006,” Mr Merlino said.

“Crowds of more than 7.5 million flocked to see Melbourne’s suite of marquee sporting events last year and whether it’s our own game of AFL, cricket, tennis, soccer, netball or basketball – there’s something for every sport fan in our state.

“The Victorian Government is committed to attracting the best events to Melbourne, but we need the best facilities – that’s why we continue to invest in our major infrastructure to ensure our elite sporting precincts remain world class.”

Rachael Church-Sanders from Ultimate Sports Cities 2010 congratulated Melbourne for its strong track record for hosting major annual sporting events.

“The city’s excellent facilities, strong government support, exceptional legacy planning, not to mention fabulous weather make it a worthy winner once again,” Ms Church-Sanders said.

Mr Merlino said works on a $363 million redevelopment of Melbourne Park and a $30 million upgrade to the Melbourne Cricket Ground would begin shortly. Melbourne’s $267.5 million purpose-built rectangular stadium, AAMI Park, would open on Friday, 7 May.

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