10 reasons why iconic sporting venues are prefect for events

Footy finals are upon us and crowds are flocking to watch their teams battle it out in our nation’s best sporting venues. In Australia, we are lucky enough to have some of the world’s most impressive venues available - where not only the pitches are in excellent condition, but so too are the hospitality services provided.
 
What many people don’t realise is that when the crowds have gone, these world class venues are the perfect location for business events, functions and even weddings!
 
Sport focused venues have many of the features of traditional conference and event venues and in many cases they can offer a little bit more to event planners…
 
Here are ten reasons you should book an iconic sporting venue for your next event.

A variety of venues available…

Rooms that are used for corporate dining rooms on ‘match days’ or ‘race days’ seamlessly become conference plenary or gala dinner locations. Such rooms are designed to accommodate large numbers of guests with views overlooking the playing arena. There are also smaller suites available which are perfect for break outs or smaller events. 

MCG venues for functions and conferences
Just a few of the unique venue spaces at the Melbourne Cricket Ground


Natural daylight and rooms with a view…

Most of the rooms at sporting venues overlook the pitch and while there might not be any action on the day you are there, you’ll be guaranteed loads of natural daylight and the backdrop can be inspirational and motivating. 

MCG - function room with a view
Inspirational views from the venue spaces at the Melbourne Cricket Ground


In-house audio visual equipment…

The importance of television broadcasts at major sporting events is becoming ever more important, the result is that sporting venues are often equipped with substantial audio-visual equipment ready for you to use. 
 

Free WiFi…

Large public venues, such as shopping centres and sporting venues now commonly offer free Wi-Fi to visitors. A venue that offers high-speed internet that can cope with high user traffic, is a major bonus for event organisers.
 

Fantastic transport links and parking…

By their nature sporting venues are typically well serviced by public transport and have parking on site. For example, Melbourne’s ‘sporting precinct’, including the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (AFL Football and International Cricket) and Rod Laver Arena (Australian Open Tennis) has two train stations, multiple tram stops and high volume parking options onsite.
 

A point of difference…

Unlike your typical hotel or conference centre, sporting venues can offer your guests some truly unique experiences. Why not host the welcome cocktail party on the playing surface, or incorporate venue tours that take guest behind the scenes and give them some knowledge about the venues’ sporting history? 
 
In many cases the guests will have attended sporting matches at the venue, but getting to see the stadium in an empty setting is a very different experience. You’ll often hear guests telling each other stories of their personal past experiences at the venue – a great icebreaker for networking events.

Tour the Olympic Museum at the MCG
Take a tour of the Olympic Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as part of your event.

Inspiring and motivating…

Sporting venues naturally provide a theme of motivation and teamwork. Inviting an Olympic gold medallist or Premiership winning coach to your event to outline the determination and commitment needed to achieve their ultimate goal can be an inspiring addition to your event program.
 

Catering for big numbers…

From a food service point of view sporting venues need to have the ability to serve potentially thousands of guests simultaneously across multiple spaces on game day. This means that the kitchen teams are well equipped to catering for many hundreds of people attending conferences and functions. 
 

It’s not just hot dogs and fries…

Unless you are hosted in one of the corporate suites, you may not realise that football grounds are capable of producing fine dining menus for special events. Many of the catering teams in sporting grounds around Australia have won awards for their exceptional catering, including EPICURE at Melbourne Cricket Ground!
 

Safe and secure…

Unlike hotels and convention centres sporting venues are ‘closed’ venues except for people who are there to work, attend events or do stadium tours. This means a high level of privacy and security for events where discretion is paramount. No hotel guests getting ‘lost’ and partaking in your delegates catering package!
 

Header image from Melbourne & Olympic Parks

Guest post by James Gilham

James Gilham is the Sales Manager at EPICURE at Melbourne Cricket Ground, one of Australia’s most iconic venues. James has helped clients produce exceptional events at this world class sporting venue for over 8 years. His favourite moment working at the MCG was the gala dinner for 4,500 Amway India delegates across all of the venue's dining spaces.

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