Football at Australia's new National Sports Museum

Australia's best showcase of sport will be housed at a new super museum at the recently redeveloped Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Federal Government has pledged a $15 million contribution to the world-class National Sports Museum. "This will make the MCG not only the greatest arena in Australia but the greatest historical sports trust in Australia and one of the greatest tourist attractions, " the national Treasurer, Peter Costello, told Karen Collier of the Herald Sun.

Due to open in November next year, the National Sports Museum is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors a year. It will house the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. The MCG itself is a clasified stadium and hosted the Olympic Games of 1956 and the Commonwealth Games of 2006. Sport Australia Hall of Fame chairman John Bertrand said the museum will inspire the young. "Sport is the essence of this country ... it generates pride from the community and it generates respect from around the world," he said.

The museum will draw on a collection of 35,000 items and up to 5000 items will be shown at any one time. The museum will campaign for the ball used in next month's football World Cup warm-up at the MCG between the Socceroos and Greece.

See also: Australia to get World Cup send-off by 98,000 fans (5 Apr)