Melbourne has cemented itself as the nation’s sporting capital, with new data revealing the city has had the top ten attendances at sporting events in recent months.
The Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing support of Australia’s best major events has seen visitors flock to Melbourne for cricket, horse racing and most recently the tennis, supporting thousands of local jobs and boosting the economy.
The Australian Open has claimed six positions in the top ten highest attendances at sporting events around the country in the past 90 days.
On Saturday 21 January, the Grand Slam tournament achieved its largest ever attendance, with 94,854 ticket-holders coming through the gates and many more soaking up the atmosphere at free event sites along Birrarung Marr.
The first week of the Australian Open saw multiple records broken – with attendances of 77,944 on day one, 67,024 on day two, 65,311 on day three, 81,294 on day four, and 85,488 on day five.
The top ten list also featured huge crowds at the MCG with 82,507 in the stands when India defeated Zimbabwe in the T20 Cricket World Cup, and a crowd of 80,462 for England’s win over Pakistan in the Final.
Flemington Racecourse drew bumper crowds over the Spring Racing Carnival with 73,816 attendees at the Melbourne Cup and 71,327 at Derby Day.
Victoria can expect the crowds to keep coming for more of the world’s biggest sporting events in 2023 including the AFL Premiership Season, Super Rugby’s Super Round Melbourne, Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Bledisloe Cup and the huge FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Melbourne’s cultural events are also drawing huge crowds – with more than 123,000 people heading into the city for the first weekend of Midsumma on 21-22 January, and more than 80,000 visitors attending Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse at the NGV since it opened on 11 December 2022.
In 2019, Victoria’s calendar of major events delivered $2.5 billion in economic value for the state. Major events drive interstate and international visitation and put Melbourne and Victoria on the global stage.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport, and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos
“When it comes to crowds at major sporting event, Melbourne smashes it out of the park time after time. With ten crowds over 65,000 in the space of 90 days, Melbourne is undeniably the sporting capital of Australia.”
“We continue to back major events because they drive significant visitation to Melbourne, filling hotels, restaurants, and bars and supporting local jobs.”
Reviewed 28 January 2023