The Victorian government will consider increasing the MCG’s capacity for Boxing Day after the state reached 40 days without a new COVID-19 case.
Less than three weeks out from the biggest cricket day of the year, the MCG’s COVID-safe level sits at 25,000 – 25 per cent of its 100,000 capacity.
Melbourne Cricket Club boss Stuart Fox revealed last week he hoped the capacity could go up to 50,000 by January, allowing for bigger crowds at Big Bash matches.
Cricket Australia would also naturally welcome any change before or after the Boxing Day Test, with NSW and Queensland allowing full stadiums.
The ticketing process for the Test began this week, with the ballot opening for members’ attendance on Monday.
But any news of an increase would come as a fresh boost for the sport and other ticket sales. On Wednesday, Victorian Sports Minister Martin Pakula refused to rule it out.
“There is a possibility. Ultimately, it’ll be in the hands of the chief health officer,” Mr Pakula said.
“It will come as no surprise to you to know that Cricket Australia would like more if they could get more.
“I’m working closely with Cricket Australia and with the MCG, there are conversations happening within the government about it.
“But ultimately, the CHO will make a decision about whether there’s any more than 25,000.”
General public tickets for the Test against India go on sale on Friday. Cricket Australia has already shown this summer it is willing to release more tickets as restrictions ease.
The idea of an increased crowd at the MCG was welcomed by players this week.
“It’d be amazing. We’d be very, very happy with 25,000 to be honest after playing in front of no crowds for a period of time,” Matthew Wade said.
“Whether there’s 5000 or 105,000, it’ll still be the same special moment for us to play in a Boxing day Test.
“But the more the merrier isn’t it?”
The capacity for next week’s first Test in Adelaide remains at 25,000 at this stage. The first three days are already sold out to the general public.