Shrine to Australian sport set for multi-million dollar upgrade

The National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground will be given a fresh new-look, with plans released today for a $17.1 million upgrade of the tourist attraction.

The upgrade, which includes a $5 million contribution from the Victorian Government, will see the National Sports Museum embrace the latest technology and create a more interactive experience for visitors.

The museum is 11 years old, having officially opened in March 2008, and houses Australia’s largest collection of sporting memorabilia, including Don Bradman’s baggy green cap, Cathy Freeman’s running suit from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games cauldron.

Highlights of the redeveloped National Sports Museum will include:

  • A full revamp of the interactive `Game On’ gallery;
  • A new Australian football section with a more interactive Hall of Fame;
  • New characters introduced to the popular “Pepper’s Ghost” holograms;
  • A new gallery to reflect Australia’s sporting culture;
  • Upgraded education zone for school groups;
  • An increase in the breadth and diversity of sports featured inside the museum, boosting the representation of disability sports, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes and other under-represented groups;
  • An enhanced celebration of Australia’s reputation as a sporting nation from grassroots levels through to the elite

MCC President Steven Smith said each year more than 140,000 people from Australia and overseas visit the museum or take an MCG tour and this upgrade would ensure a unique and more meaningful experience for museum patrons.

“If the MCG is the home of Australian sport then the National Sports Museum is the heart of it,” Mr Smith said.

“Sport is about who we are as a nation. Everyone has a story and connection to sport and its pivotal role in Australia’s social, cultural and national identity. It’s part of our fabric.

“This upgrade will ensure a visit to the National Sports Museum is fun, exciting and interactive and offer a shared family experience that will encourage people to come back over and over again.

“The new-look National Sports Museum will be a leading-edge venue in the sporting and cultural landscape and we’re thrilled by the support from the State Government to ensure we create a vibrant and unique sporting experience for all visitors.”

The Hon Martin Pakula MP, Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister, said this redevelopment will enhance the National Sports Museum as a “must-see” attraction for any sports fan visiting Melbourne.

“The MCG is a Victorian icon, and there’s no better place to honour our nation’s greatest sporting moments than at our greatest sporting venue,” Minister Pakula said.

“By showcasing the best of Australian sport at the National Sports Museum, we’re enhancing Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s sporting capital and inspiring the next generation of athletes.”

The museum will be closed later this year for the renovation works and is scheduled to reopen in time for the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Final, which is being played at the MCG on March 8 next year.

The ever popular stadium tours of the MCG and the Melbourne Cricket Club Museum will continue to operate during the museum closure period with the MCC Museum to be upgraded at a slightly later date. Click here to book a tour.

Access to the MCC Archives, NSM collection, MCC Musuem collection and Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum collection is currently unavailable, while the team prepares for the exciting upgrade. Access requests can be made from the 1st of April, 2020.