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New 5,000 seat show court for Melbourne tennis

Tennis Australia and the state of Victoria are building a new 5,000-seat sunken show court and arena to ensure the Australian Open stays in Melbourne.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Sport John Eren were joined by Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley and Melbourne Olympic Parks CEO Brian Morris to announce the A$271.55 million package to complete the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment.

The funding will guarantee that the Australian Open stays at Melbourne Park until at least 2036 and ensures Melbourne remains the global home of sport and entertainment.

The third stage will feature:

  • A new multi-purpose 5,000-seat sunken show court and arena;
  • Central terrace with a new elevated outdoor public space;
  • A new function centre;
  • A media centre and broadcast studios;
  • Central kitchen, loading dock and logistics hub.

Fans will be able to find their way around the courts easier with new and improved pathways, new scoreboards and signage.

The southern entry will be realigned and the northern entry upgraded as part of the works, improving access for everyone.

A record 728,763 fans poured through the gates at Australian Open 2017, which was aired live in 220 territories on more than 65 different TV channels, reaching more than 900 million homes worldwide.

Tiley said:

Yet again the State Government is showing its belief the Australian Open is one of the premier sporting and entertainment events. The Victorian Government has played a major role in the remarkable success of our Grand Slam with its foresight and planning.

The government has led the way with the world-class redevelopment of the Melbourne Park precinct and the people of Melbourne have embraced the event in their hundreds of thousands as a result.

The project will create 600 jobs during construction, and support thousands of jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry as more and more people flock to Victoria to see the best sporting heroes and musicians in the business.

The next stage of development will build the facilities needed to attract even more visitors and secure more blockbuster events.

Pallas commented:

This project will mean more visitors, more jobs, and even more chances to showcase to the world that Victoria has the best of everything. Melbourne is the sporting and events capital of the world, and we’ll keep it that way.

Together with works currently underway at Melbourne Park, this brings the Labor Government’s investment to over half a billion dollars, taking the live sport, music and entertainment experience up another level.

Construction work is powering ahead on the new Rod Laver Arena eastern entry pod and world class player and artist facilities, while the newly opened Tanderrum footbridge safely ushered hundreds of thousands of tennis fans from the city to the heart of the action.

Stage 2 is set to be ready for the Australian Open 2019, and construction of Stage 3 to begin the same year.