Melbourne Sporting Event Feb/Mar
January 10, 2016 2:09 AM   Subscribe

This American is going to be in Melbourne from Feb 27th - Mar 7th and I'd like to see an Australian sporting event. Help me find one.

I'm not a sport enthusiast, but I do occasionally like to go to a game or two. I thought it might be fun to watch something while I'm in Melbourne that I couldn't easily find in America. Obvious candidates are cricket, rugby, or australian rules football. Anything I'm overlooking?

I did some searching and it seems like I'm in the country at the wrong time to see cricket. I was looking at the Melbourne Cricket Ground event schedule and nothing falls during the dates I'd be there.

Looks like the Melbourne Storm have a draw (??) on Mar 7th. The Melbourne Rebels seem to have two fixtures (??) while I'm there but both look like away games.

Looks like I won't be in Australia during the AFL season.

What do you guys think? ISTM that the Melbourne Storm are my best bet on the 7th. I wouldn't mind traveling an hour or two from Melbourne to see a game as long as it's via public transport (I won't be renting a car) and a large enough crowd for me to blend in.

I don't really care about understanding the event, I just want to go and chill and have a nice day.
posted by sbutler to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Actually, you might be able to catch some of the AFL preseason, including the always niggly rivalry between Carlton and Essendon at Carlton's traditional home ground in Royal Park on the 28th. Which leaves you but a ten-minute walk or five-minute tram ride from the beards-and-breweries hipster mecca that is The People's Republic of Moreland (aka Brunswick and Coburg. More info here.)

Just don't expect Carlton to play well. (I don't follow AFL myself, but I have inherited via Lamarckian principles the answer "Carlton" to the perennial Melbourne question "Hoojalikeinnafootiemate?")
posted by prismatic7 at 2:46 AM on January 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh! I should have mentioned that I'm staying in Carlton, couple blocks from the University of Melbourne. So that's a spot on suggestion.
posted by sbutler at 2:50 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

27/2: MVFC v Sydney FC
posted by pompomtom at 2:51 AM on January 10, 2016

(...and I'll buy you a beer)
posted by pompomtom at 2:52 AM on January 10, 2016

Oh! I should have mentioned that I'm staying in Carlton, couple blocks from the University of Melbourne. So that's a spot on suggestion.

I aim to please. Carlton's pretty great, although the stretch of Lygon St south of Grattan St is a tourist trap of mostly-rubbish restaurants...
posted by prismatic7 at 2:59 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

The pre-season matches are, I'm pretty sure, more of a popular event in Melbourne than anything rugby-related. Rugby's more of a NSW thing. Source: a Melbourne native who is admittedly not into sports.
posted by jojobobo at 11:42 PM on January 10, 2016

I'm absolutely amazed that you managed to find 10 days in Melbourne that have absolutely no notable sporting events.

If you can make it to the Victory vs Sydney FC game with pompomtom you'll enjoy the atmosphere but probably not the spectacle. If you can make it to the Storm vs Dragons you'll probably enjoy the spectacle but not the atmosphere. You'll also already know how to get there because it's at the same place as the Victory game.

But neither of those events are going to be a "chill and have a nice day" kind of gig. For that you need cricket or horse-racing.

February/March is actually a great time to be in Australia for cricket but somehow Cricket Australia has contrived to ensure there are no fixtures of note in Melbourne at that time. However, if you're not interested in watching a high-standard then you'll find plenty of regional level club cricket on at that time, weather permitting. I can't imagine there'll be many people watching, so if you want a crowd to blend into then the races are probably your best bet (ha!).

If you're not morally opposed to horse-racing there's the Australian Guineas at Flemington (about a 15 minute drive from where you're staying I guess but I can't speak for public transport as it's been a while since I've been there). This is probably your most quintessentially "Australian"event - a day of people dressed completely inappropriately for the weather milling around drinking, gambling, and occasionally yelling at animals.
posted by ddd at 12:29 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

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