Vodafone Men's Ashes
Crowd of more than 80,000 tipped for Boxing Day Test
Victoria's premier clears the way for a huge crowd at the MCG for this summer's Boxing Day Test
24 October 2021, 11:56 AM AEST
A crowd of more than 80,000 people could attend this summer's Boxing Day Test at the MCG under the Victorian government's latest roadmap out of a long COVID-19 lockdown.
In announcing a further planned easing of restrictions over the coming weeks, Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews said mass gatherings at sporting events, including a big crowd at the biggest Test of the summer, were on the cards due to increasing vaccination rates.
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"I want to see 80,000 plus people at the Boxing Day test on day one, that's what I want to see," Mr Andrews said on Sunday.
"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."
The crowd for last summer's Boxing Day Test match against India was capped at 30,000 people per day due to the pandemic.
The biggest crowd at the MCG, which can hold more than 100,000 people, since the start of the pandemic was the 78,113 people who watched the traditional Anzac Day AFL match last April.
Before that, a crowd of 86,174 people watched Australia beat India in the final of the 2020 T20 World Cup in March 2020, just before the world was shut down due to the pandemic.
The day one crowd for a Boxing Day Ashes Test has twice topped 90,000 people in the past 15 years.
In June, Cricket Australia announced they would sell tickets for the Ashes to full venue capacity, except the MCG, which would be sold to 85 per cent of capacity, pending government restrictions.
"We continue to work closely with venues and governments across Australia to ensure that events are held safely and greatly appreciate their support," CEO Nick Hockley said at the time.
"In the event that capacities are reduced due to government restrictions associated with the pandemic, we of course guarantee fans full refunds."
Vodafone Men's Ashes v England
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium