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Melbourne’s year of sport

/ 17 Feb 2017

Recent announcements have confirmed that Melbourne will host a prized match between soccer giants Brazil and Argentina during the Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour (9 June, 2017), meaning all eyes will be on Australia’s sporting capital as the powerhouses of international soccer clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Hosting a collection of world-class, internationally renowned sporting events throughout the year, Melbourne has a long history of attracting the best athletes in the world. With a diverse line-up of sporting spectacles providing entertainment for local sports fans and visiting sports lovers, it’s no wonder Melbourne was crowned the SportBusiness Ultimate Sport City of the Decade last year.

Adding new world-class events to the calendar each year, Melbourne’s diverse range of spectator sports continues to grow. Those new to the calendar this year include: Nitro AthleticsFIG Individual Apparatus World Cup SeriesAustralian Football League (AFL) Women’s Grand FinalRugby League World CupVolvo Ocean Race and Towards Zero Race Melbourne, showcasing everything from cycling to sailing, gymnastics, athletics and football across Melbourne’s premier sporting venues.

With so many new events added to the sporting line up, visitors can now enjoy an even broader range of sports, while still looking forward to seeing the likes of Serena Williams slog it out at the Australian Open, Daniel Riccardo tear up the track at the Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix and David Warner smash a six at the MCG.

Perennially popular with both sports legends and super fans, Melbourne’s forthcoming sporting events include:


Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix (23 – 26 March 2017). As the only city in the world with a Grand Slam and Formula 1 Grand Prix, Melbourne sees the world’s best Formula 1 drivers compete in the first Grand Prix of the season, with Red Bull’s Daniel Riccardo being a local favourite.

AFL Women’s Grand Final (25 March 2017). The inaugural year of the AFL Women’s competition sees the country’s most passionate female football players go head-to-head in the eight-team competition. This will be the first ever professional ALF Women’s final, and with overwhelming crowd support thus far, the last match of the season will no doubt be a sell out.


Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (12 – 24 April 2017). The Great Ocean Road’s iconic surf town of Torquay will again welcome the world’s best surfers to its famous breaks at Bells Beach when the 55th Rip Curl Pro hits town for the world’s oldest – and most coveted – surfing competition.


Great Ocean Road Running Festival (20 – 21 May 2017). Comprised of seven events, the Great Ocean Road Running Festival is best known as host to one of the world’s most picturesque sporting challenges – the Great Ocean Road Marathon. The race continues to host runners from all over the globe keen to push themselves to the limit amid the natural beauty of the Great Ocean Road.


Chevrolet Brasil Global Tour (9 June 2017). All eyes will be on Australia’s sporting capital as the powerhouses of international soccer giants Brazil and Argentina clash at the MCG in front of what will no doubt be a sellout crowd.

Rugby Union Test: Australia v Fiji (10 June 2017). AAMI Park has been named as the location of a highly anticipated match between Australia’s Wallabies and Fiji as a part of the Rugby Union Test Series.


Spring Racing Carnival (September – November 2017). From the glamour of Crown Oaks Day to the family-friendly fun of Stakes Day, Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is a horse racing event that’s all about fashion, fine wine and fillies.

AFL Grand Final (30 September 2017). The MCG reaches capacity during Australia’s biggest single day sporting event. The hottest ticket in town, the AFL Grand Final is beloved by passionate fans keen to watch the year’s best teams fight it out for the premiership flag.


Moto GP on Phillip Island (20 – 22 October 2017). Phillip Island revs up with international motorcycling talent every year for the popular Australian Motorcycling Grand Prix. Considered a favourite race track for some of the world’s fastest motorcycle drivers, it is also a favourite among the passionate crowd.

Rugby League World Cup (27 October 2017). One of the biggest clashes of the Rugby League World Cup will take place when Australia and England play against each other in Melbourne this spring.

Fast 5 Netball (October 2017). Held under lights at Hisense Arena, this fast-paced game style sees the best six netballing nations in the world compete for glory in six minute power-play quarters.


Melbourne Cup Carnival (4 – 11 November 2017). A stalwart of the Spring Racing fixture, the Melbourne Cup Carnival sees the world’s best horses compete in the world’s richest races with ‘the race that stops the nation’ (i.e. the Melbourne Cup) being the biggest drawcard.

Rugby League World Cup (19 November 2017). Proving that Melbourne isn’t just about AFL, the city will host a Rugby League World Cup quarter final in November.

International Festival of Hockey (November 2017). Launching in 2016, this international hockey festival features matches between domestic and international teams. Spectators can witness the incredible skills and speed of some of the best male and female hockey players in the world.


The Ashes Fourth Test (Starting 26 December 2017). One of the most popular events on the international cricketing calendar, the 2017 Boxing Day Test sees England and Australia compete for the Ashes once again.

Volvo Ocean Race (December – January). Melbourne has been added to the Volvo Ocean Race schedule as a week-long stopover, giving Victorians a chance to see some of the best sailing teams in the world, in action.


Australian Open (15 – 28 January 2018). Melbourne kicks off the grand slam season with the Australian Open. A favourite with players, officials and fans, there is as much action on court as there is off with kids areas, free concerts, live-screens, themed beer gardens and more.

Festival of Sails (27 – 30 January 2018). Established in 1844, Geelong’s Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere. With more than 3000 competitors, it is one of the nation’s oldest sporting events and continues to grow each year.

Towards Zero Race Melbourne (TBC January 2018). Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race elite men’s and women’s teams have the opportunity to test their power in this new criterium (closed-circuit course) race around Albert Park Lake – the track also used for the Australian Formula 1™ Grand Prix.

Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (TBC January 2018). Australia’s only one-day International Cycling Union (UCI) world tour event sees the cream of the cycling crop compete amid a backdrop of spectacular coastal scenery through Geelong, Barwon Heads and Torquay.


KFC T20 International Cricket (TBC February 2018). Held at the MCG and Geelong’s Kardinia Park, Australia takes on Sri Lanka in this limited overs cricket competition. The passionate crowds will be roaring as they watch on for big hits and thrilling finishes.

FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup Series (TBC February 2018). For the first time, the Australian leg of the FIG Individual Apparatus World Cup Series will take place at Hisense Arena, Melbourne. Featuring gymnasts from 15 countries competing for Olympic qualification, this is a significant event on the global gymnastics calendar.

Superbike World Championship (TBC February 2018). The coastal hamlet of Phillip Island provides the perfect backdrop for the season opener of the Superbike World Championships, one of the top three global motorsports alongside Formula 1 and MotoGP.

This content can be shared and edited for the purpose of promoting Victoria as a visitor destination. Not for use in paid advertising. Please credit Visit Victoria.


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