Aussie sports fans have had to wait almost four months to attend a fixture at the MCG, but the gates will reopen later this week.
Fans will be welcomed back to the MCG for the first time in almost four months when Victoria hosts NSW in the Sheffield Shield from Friday.
Up to 5,000 full-vaccinated ticketholders will be permitted on each of the four days, the MCG confirmed on Monday.
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“The Melbourne Cricket Club, manager of the MCG, Cricket Victoria and the Victorian Government are committed to protecting the wellbeing of members, their guests and non-member fans attending this Marsh Sheffield Shield fixture,” a statement read.
It will be the first time crowds have been able to watch live sport at the iconic ground since the round 17 clash between Richmond and Collingwood on July 11, after which time Melbourne entered lockdown.
In October, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he hoped the ‘G could welcome a capacity crowd when Australia hosts England in the Third Ashes Test.
“I want to see 80,000 plus people at the Boxing Day Test on day one,” he said.
“We are determined to deliver that. It won’t be easy – I think selling the tickets will be pretty easy – but we are very confident.”
In the meantime, the venue is set to host two BBL games in December, a Marsh Cup match between NSW and Victoria and the upcoming Sheffield Shield clash.
Victoria defeated NSW at Drummoyne Oval last week in the sides’ first match of the summer.
It remains to be seen whether Test tyro Will Pucovski will be available for selection in the rematch.
Pucovski, who made his Test debut in the series against India last summer, suffered yet another head knock last month.
On Monday, Victorian coach Chris Rogers revealed the 23-year-old was still showing “a few symptoms” as he recovered from what was at least the 10th concussion of his young career.
“We’re monitoring his progress coming back from concussion,” Rogers said on SEN.
“The medical team are constantly talking to him, so I think there’s still a few symptoms.
“We’ve just got to see what happens when it comes to Friday and our next Shield match.”
Having recently announced his retirement from international cricket so he could focus on his career at state-level, James Pattinson should be available for selection for this week’s match.
However, after the win over NSW, Victorian captain Peter Handscomb said he was no guarantee of being picked, either.
“What a good problem to have – you have a win and then you’ve got two Australian players coming back into the fold to potentially make your team stronger,” the Victorian captain said.
“There’s going to be a couple of tough conversations coming up in the next few days.”