Weekend of major events see crowds return to Melbourne’s CBD

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The recent Grand Prix and comedy festival have brought crowds back to Melbourne’s CBD.

Melbourne’s Grand Prix saw a record crowd attendance over the four-day event, which combined with the audiences attending the Comedy Festival saw pedestrian activity in the CBD rising above pre-pandemic levels by 15 per cent.

Melbourne’s office occupancy is still below the rest of Australia, despite the Andrews government’s lifting of the indoor mask mandate and work-from-home recommendation from February.

“The foot traffic figures show Melbourne literally was bursting on the weekend,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp told The Guardian.

“The positive momentum that we’ve seen this year is really taking the next big stride forward with week-on-week foot traffic, at Southbank for example, up 66%. That tells us that that over-caution moving to Covid confidence is something that’s here to stay.”

Melbourne’s run of hosting major sporting events is set to continue after yesterday’s announcement that the MCG will host the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in 2026.

Melbourne’s Sandbelt will also host the Presidents Cup in 2028 and 2040 under a new agreement between the State Government and the PGA TOUR.

The 2028 Presidents Cup will mark the event’s fourth trip to Melbourne, tying the record for most contested Cups in one city, matched only by Gainesville in Virginia.

Melbourne previously staged the Presidents Cup in 1998, 2011 and 2019.

“The PGA TOUR joins the likes of the Australian Open, Formula One, T20 Cricket World Cup and Super Rugby in choosing our world-class facilities for their international events,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula.