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Bird on a wire: MCC ups ante in gull fight

Mark Macgugan  June 5, 2013 7:47 PM

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The MCC is hoping to rid the MCG of seagulls

We hope that this trial will reduce the number of gulls on the MCG playing surface while the game is in progress
THE MELBOURNE Cricket Club will take a new approach in its battle to rid the MCG of seagulls, stringing a series of wires across the stadium, 35 metres above the playing service.

The nine wires, each 180 metres in length and connected from the northern to southern grandstands, will be installed in time for Friday night's clash between Essendon and Carlton.

Previously used at golf courses and water installations but never before at a sporting stadium, it is hoped the wires will interrupt the seagulls' flight paths, deterring them from landing on the field in large numbers during matches.

The plan has been ticked off by the AFL, and will be in place for several day and night games across the remainder of the home and away season.

"We hope that this trial will reduce the number of gulls on the MCG playing surface while the game is in progress," MCC CEO Stephen Gough told MCG.org.au.

The wires will be approximately the same height above the playing surface as the roof over Etihad Stadium, and both the AFL and ground management are confident they pose no threat of interrupting play.

The MCC has faced an ongoing fight against seagulls, feeling they cause 'aesthetic concerns' for players, broadcasters and spectators.

During the 2011 finals series and the 2012 season, the club used two wedged-tailed eagles in a bid to frighten the seagulls away.

The eagles, natural predators of the seagull, were tethered to the roof of the northern and southern stands.

An MCC spokesperson said the club hadn't ruled out using the eagles again in future, but hoped the new method would provide a solution.