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High hopes for MCG's newest attraction
Views from the top of Melbourne's hallowed sporting ground will soon be possible, with plans for a 70-metre 'sky walk' and a possible zipline in the works.
More oxygen please.
I am suddenly feeling all breathless with excitement at the news from the Deep South this morning, that "a sky high tourist walk will be built above the roof of the MCG in a world-first stadium experience at Australia's greatest ground.
"Fans will be able to climb up to 70m above the home of sport to take in breathtaking views of the iconic ground, Melbourne's world-class sporting precinct and the city skyline for the first time."
A walk at the top of a piece of major infrastructure to take in your city in all its glory?
Geez, why didn't we folk in Sydney think of that? It would be fabulous and ... and hang on, now I remember.
We DID think of that!
As a matter of fact, we came up with it about 20 years ago, and the walk to the top of the "Old Man", the "Coat Hanger", the Sydney Harbour Bridge, has been a stunning success ever since.
Ah, but Melbourne is aware of that, and says it has us covered, bringing us to my favourite line of all in the Herald-Sun report:
"The MCG rooftop trek is said to be a rival for Sydney's Harbour Bridge walk ... "
Waiter!!! More oxygen, and some antidepressants, please, for now these bastards have really got us worried.
Or ... maybe not.
After all, look at it.
I mean, really, look at it!
For, of course, from the peak of the Bridge, the splendid vista lies before you, starting with what Captain Arthur Phillip described as "the finest harbour in the world, in which a thousand sail of the line may ride in the most perfect security ... "
Melbourne's equivalent, of course, is the Yarra River. But can we be frank here?
As I have said before, if Sydney Harbour ever needed to take a pee, it would end up looking very like the Yarra - and a similarly unfavourable comparison might be made of our two metropolii.
At the Ball of the World's Great Cities, we all know that Melbourne - if it managed to gate-crash - would be a wallflower all night long while Sydney would be danced off its feet!
Yup, as the band plays Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy from Company B and Last Waltz, we'll be beating New York, London and Paris off with a stick, while the best Melbourne could hope for would be to have a twirl with Los Angeles, Vancouver and Liverpool - and even then, only if they had their beer goggles on, but ...
You Victorians insist that a city is composed of much more than its natural features, and many other factors come into play?
You're right. And I want to acknowledge again that Melbourne really does have a climate that is the envy of people living in southern Tassie, for starters.
And it does have some extraordinary buildings.
But, Melbourne, can we be serious once more?
When we in Sydney are on the top of our Bridge, the most arresting building before us is the Sydney Opera House which Time magazine recently had on its cover for a story on the 100 Most Extraordinary Buildings in the World.
Now, I am not positive if you stood on your tippy-toes on the top of the MCG, you could see Federation Square, but even if you could - and I mean this as serious question - would you actually bother?
Still, Victorian Sports Minister John Eren is not at all worried about that and insists that the MCG walk "is very much about showcasing our wonderful precinct and this will go a long way to making sure not only locals enjoy this iconic ground from a different perspective but interstate and overseas visitors".
Minister Eren, please.
After those international visitors get to Sydney first, and they mostly do, they inevitably come to realise the truth of the words of Paul Keating: "If you're not living in Sydney, you're really just camping out."
And I think that's your best hope. Grow some vines on your walkway, and sell it as "glamping", as in glamorous camping. Put some swish caravans in that park by the MCG, and you might get away with it.
But don't EVER try to take us on, in a one-on-one city thing.
Anyhoo, have to dash. We're off shortly, to the Ball of the World's Great Cities.
We'll send you a postcard.