Melbourne is a city that's mad for sports, and that's never more evident than during a major international sporting event, when, according to Anthony Grace from Melbourne Sports Tours, the city rolls out the welcome mat for visitors and the build-up is electrifying.
January's Australian Open Tennis Championships and the Formula1 Grand Prix in March are Melbourne's biggest international sporting events, with the Spring Racing Carnival garnering more attention each year. Special sporting events, like the Lions Tour, find passionate sell-out crowds in Melbourne, and then there are the regular local sporting events that are part and parcel of life in Melbourne.
The sporting spirit is experienced far beyond the stadiums when international events come to town, with multi-day cultural festivals often accompanying the main event. Public spaces play host to live music, performing arts and giant screens, and bars and restaurants buzz with play-by-play accounts, good-natured rivalry and general excitement.
Melbourne has a long history and culture of embracing a diverse range of sporting events. Anthony is proud of the city's passionate, informed and broadminded sports fans. 'Who else has a public holiday for a three-and-a-half minute horse race?'