The Lions will be able to consider another first-class fixture when they tour Australia in four years time after Melbourne won the race to host the 15th Super Rugby franchise.
The southern hemisphere's premier provincial tournament will expand from 2011, with the Southern Australian city the latest area to be invited to join the party.
Melbourne's inclusion now means Australia join New Zealand and South Africa in having five Super franchises five years after Western Force joined the ACT Brumbies, New South Wales Warratahs and the Queensland Reds at the top table.
And with the Lions having played New South Wales, Queensland and ACT on their last visit Down Under in 2001, it would be no surprise to see both Melbourne and Western Force on the fixture list next time around.
"This is a vote for commonsense - we are obviously delighted by the outcome," said Australian Rugby Union managing director and CEO John O'Neill after Melbourne beat off competition from South Africa's Southern Kings for Super 15 inclusion.
"This is the right decision…and it's a momentous day for Australian rugby and the people of Melbourne.
"Melbourne has an extraordinary capacity for sport and we can now deliver them a Super Rugby side they can embrace and support in an established competition of genuine international standing.
"Super Rugby is the most prestigious tournament of its kind in our game and it will now reach into Melbourne, with a team playing out of the new state-of-the-art purpose-built Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
"ARU was always convinced the case for Melbourne was compelling and this decision confirms our positivity and confidence about having the fifth Australian team in Australia's second biggest city.
"The Melbourne Rugby community has been desperate for a consistent schedule of top-level matches and the establishment of a Super Rugby team will deliver that on a grand scale.
"For Australian Rugby as a whole this also ensures our national footprint at the highest levels continues to expand with Super Rugby teams in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne."
That expansion will be key in the lead up to the Lions tour, with the Lions themselves keen to take on meaningful opposition during the build up to the three-match series with the Wallabies.
The 2001 tour to Australia saw huge victories in the opening two games against Western Australia and a Queensland Presidents XV but the continued growth of the sport is likely to see those sorts of fixtures and results remain a thing of the past when it comes to 2013.