The MCG is banning cars from parking in Yarra Park for major sporting events and reducing parking capacity for others.

The Carlton vs Richmond AFL season opener on March 22 is the first event to be affected.

In a statement on the MCG website, Melbourne Cricket Club CEO Stuart Fox says: “Ongoing events both around the world and closer to home clearly demonstrate that we need to minimise the risk of interactions between vehicles and pedestrians, especially in crowded places such as outside the MCG.”

The Age reports a crowd of more than 90,000 is expected for the first AFL match of the season.

Public Transport Victoria will add extra bus services to the Hurstbridge, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines to accommodate the extra passengers expected to travel by train to the MCG.

A small number of parking spaces will be available to people with disability parking permits, accredited media, authorised pass holders and emergency services.

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Other major sporting events affected include the AFL Collingwood vs Essendon Anzac Day match on April 25, State of Origin on June 6 and the AFL Finals Series in September.

At most other events an 80-metre “exclusion zone” will be in place between vehicles and the stadium. This will reduce parking capacity by approximately two thirds, down to 2000 parking spaces.

The decision comes after other measures deployed around the city to deter or hinder vehicle-based terror attacks, such as the much discussed concrete bollards in Bourke Street Mall.