DRIVING AROUND THE STREETS of Melbourne with Anthony Grace of Melbourne Sports Tours, it’s easy to understand why Melbourne has been crowned the “Ultimate Sports City of the Decade”. It seemed every few minutes Grace pointed out yet another sporting ground or landmark associated with a major sporting achievement. Melburnians’ accessibility to our major sporting venues played a major role in SportBusiness magazine’s decision to bestow their top gong on Melbourne.
“Melbourne has sports venues that are not only the best in the world, but are at the heart of the city, fostering a greater sense of engagement with the general public and fans when events take place,” the judges explained.
Melbourne took out the one-off award ahead of Berlin, London, New York and Sydney. Melbourne is no stranger to winning the sports city awards—the longest running ranking of the world’s top sports cities—having also taken the gong in 2006, 2008 and 2010. This year it also won the awards for the Best Large Sports City and for the Best Sports Venues. That so many sporting attractions are so close to the city is one of the reasons why Grace explains to his passengers that his sporting tours don’t just cover sporting attractions, but showcase Melbourne generally.