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MCG ready for another record BBL crowd

AAP logoAAP 31/12/2016 Jason Phelan

MCG venue managers are preparing for a record BBL crowd when the Melbourne Stars host cross-town rivals the Melbourne Renegades on New Year's Day.

The corresponding fixture in the last BBL tournament attracted a crowd of 80,883 that smashed the previous high mark.

The size of the turn out caught venue managers, the Melbourne Cricket Club, by surprise with thousands of frustrated fans subjected to long queues to get into the ground and at food and beverage outlets inside.

All ticket booths and hospitality outlets will be fully staffed in preparation for a forecast 80,000-strong crowd but the MCC are strongly urging fans to pre-purchase tickets and get to the ground early to avoid delays.

"What we're trying to avoid is tens of thousands of people trying to buy a ticket at the ground on the day," MCC spokesman Shane Brown told AAP.

"Equally important is that fans get to the ground with plenty of time to go through the normal bag checks and security wanding.

"The last thing we want is for people to miss the start of the game.

"We'll be ramped up and ready for a (record) crowd, so we're very confident in that regard, but if 50,000 people turn up half an hour before the game starts it won't matter how ready we are."

Venue management are also keen to point out the game has an earlier start time than many BBL fixtures, with the first ball bowled at 6.10pm AEDT.

The fixture is also a double header, the WBBL Stars take on the Renegades at 1.45pm AEDT, with gates opening at 12.45pm.

"With the earlier WBBL game, family-friendly pre-match entertainment and an abundance of food and beverage outlets, there is plenty on offer for early arriving fans," Brown said.

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