Sydney offers plenty of historical and contemporary Australian flavor. The marvelous Sydney Opera House looks like a great origami sailboat, floating peacefully in a harbor. Wander the narrow cobblestone streets of The Rocks and then take in a street performance on the Circular Quay before heading into the Museum of Contemporary Art. The views from the Sydney Tower Eye observatory are epic – use this chance to get to know the layout of the city from high above.
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The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust is responsible for managing two of Australia’s premier sports venues – the Sydney Cricket Ground and Allianz Stadium. Both venues are located at Moore Park, only 4km from the central business district and adjacent to the popular bars, restaurants, cinemas and shops of the Entertainment Quarter. The historic Sydney Cricket Ground boasts an impressive list of credentials, encompassing cricket, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Soccer, Baseball, Cycling and major concerts by the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel and Elton John, Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Eagles, Prince, Green Day and the Wave Aid concert. The Sydney Cricket Ground provides the perfect balance between the big crowd atmosphere and intimacy with the on-field action. These aspects, combined with the location of the venue, make visiting the SCG a special experience for all patrons.
We visited the SCG to watch the morning session of the first day of a four-day Sheffield Shield cricket match between NSW and Victoria. The SCG is pretty central in Sydney and we took a short journey on the Light Railway ( or tram as we would call it in the UK ) to Moore Park and had a short walk to the stadium, passing the Sydney Swans Australian Rules Football team, who share the SCG, having a pre-season practice session on the oval nearby. Only one gate was open for the match and entrance was free. The Members Enclosure had a dress code of trousers and shirt collar, and as I was wearing t-shirt and shorts we had to make do with the Ladies Pavilion. These were the only two stands where access was permitted to watch the cricket. The SGC has recently been rebuilt, but retained both the Members and Ladies pavilions, which have an old fashion charm and give the stadium some character. However, the rest of the ground whilst big, modern and imposing, has a bland identi-kit feel to it, but there appear to be plenty of Corporate Boxes included, and what looks like a very large Press Box area. I expect the views from the seats will be good though. The huge scoreboard lists both teams and with all the data it includes there is no need for a traditional scorecard. There are also plenty of TV screens in the roof of the stand so you can watch the TV pictures. The scoreboard showed pictures but not the actual deliveries, although wickets and major bits of action were repeated. The attendance was sparse with less than 50 spectators in the stadium to see the first ball of the morning but by lunch this has increased to nearly 100. During a break in play I went to the one food and drink outlet by the gate entrance and ordered two coffees ( 4 AUD each and learnt that a bottle of beer would be between 7-11 AUD depending on the brand ), a glass of wine would be 10.40 AUD, a pie would be 4.90 AUD and burgers/hot dog/sandwiches 12.50 AUD. The crowd show no obvious sign of home bias and the good shots all morning were politely applauded. Overall it was a very enjoyable morning.
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