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Melbourne: A fellow challenger brand, dominating in events




Melbourne, while significantly more established globally as an events destination, is a challenger brand much like Cape Town, but often overshadowed by the global appeal of Sydney.

Melbourne has time and time again been indepedently rated and declared as the Ultimate City globally to host sports events. As Cape Town slowly, very slowly, looks towards the type and quality of events it should be hosting, it may be worthwhile to consider those that Melbourne has targeted, which if one looks closely, Cape Town, in certain circumstances could easily host too. It appears that it may require more will than infrastructure to compete with Melbourne in attracting sports events. Through the highly successful Victorian Major Events company, Melbourne has through partnerships (emphasis on partnership) with the public and private sector developed an enviable events calendar and knowledge base which has catapulted the city ahead of major players in the sports tourism industry e.g.  London, Paris, Beijing and the “we have endlesss amounts of money let’s bid for everything” Qatar. Correct me if I’m wrong, the current view of the City of Cape Town, is a “low infrastructure investment, high returns” philiosophy, which if one looks at Melbourne, is only achievable once a City has developed the level of infrastructure at a standard comparable to Melbourne.Cape Town, while it likes to think that, is not at that standard yet.

Melbourne has successfully linked events to infrastructure development, and has attained its wide array of sport and non-sport events venues due to to this approach e.g. the expansion of the Melbourne Aquatic Centre to host the FINA World Championships. There is no reason why Cape Town could not follow in the same footsteps. PE currently has a better and more modern Aquatic Centre than Cape Town. There are currently no FINA approved facilities in Cape Town that would be suitable to host any international swimming events. An opportunity exists to accelerate the development of an International Aquatic Centre,  through a partnership with Swimming South Africa and a bid for a major FINA event. This would in turn leave a major legacy after the event, and continue to serve as a major venue to bid for future FINA and IOC other aquatic events. There is currently a void in terms of this approach, which may be nothing more than fear, and a risk averse outlook post Cape Town stadium.

That said, venues like the Good Hope Centre, Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium and many others are already in place and if the “Low infrastructure investment, maximize returns” approach is to be believed, a bid for the World Hockey Championships or a major indoor event should have already been submitted.

Either way, the sad picture is that we are neither maximizing the use of our well developed infrastructure nor developing infrastructure as part of a bid for major events. We’re somewhere inbetween. Or perhaps nowhere at all. There is I suppose the secret 2017 World Games bid which very few know about, which will be submitted at the end of May…

Current events that are contract managed by Sport and Recreation Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government include:

Previous events contract managed by Sport and Recreation Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government include:

  • Australian Masters Games (2009)
  • Australian Open Men’s Golf (2005)
  • Australian Open Womens’ Golf (2009)
  • CC Cricket Super Series (2005)
  • Commonwealth Games (2006)
  • Commonwealth Youth Games (2004)
  • Days in the Diocese (2008)
  • Deaflympic Games (2005)
  • FINA World Swimming Championships (2007)
  • Football (Soccer) Events Package (2006 – 2009)
  • Homeless World Cup (2008)
  • Jayco Herald Sun Tour (2007-2009)
  • World Ten Dance Championship (2004)
  • Melbourne Victory vs Juventus match (2008)
  • Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy (2009)
  • National Triathlon Championships (2005 – 2007)
  • Parliament of the World’s Religions (2009)
  • Rip Curl Pro Surfing (2001 – 2008)
  • Roxy Surfing Festival (2004 – 2008)
  • Rugby League Events Package (2006 – 2009)
  • Rugby World Cup (2003)
  • Sail Melbourne Regatta (2005 – 2008)
  • Volvo Ocean Race Melbourne Stopover (2005/06)
  • Women’s World Cup Road Race (2006 – 2008)
  • World Artistic Gymnastic Championships (2005)
  • World Hot Air Ballooning Championships (2004)
  • World Latin Dance Championship (2008)
  • World Lifesaving Championships (2006)