Melbourne Park will remain the home of the Australian Open for generations with a multi-million dollar transformation of the world class sporting precinct.
The redevelopment aims to cater for the growing popularity of the Australian Open and to establish Melbourne and Olympic Parks as an unbeatable sports and events precinct. It will place a strong emphasis on the comfort of patrons, with more open space and shade, increased seating capacity, better connections to public transport and the city, and easier movement into and within Melbourne and Olympic Parks.
The $363 million first stage of the redevelopment includes:
- an extension to the south west of the external concourse surrounding Rod Laver Arena, including upgrades to the services and landscaping
- improved connections between Rod Laver Arena, the Oval and Hisense Arena
- the addition of rainwater harvesting and treatment facilities
- a major upgrade to fully enclose Margaret Court Arena, including the installation of a retractable roof and additional seating to increase crowd capacity to 7,500
- a new Eastern Plaza, incorporating eight new indoor courts and 13 outdoor courts for elite training and general public use as well as change room facilities and a gymnasium
- refurbishments to Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena
- additional parking and a footbridge linking Melbourne Park to the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Major Projects Victoria will work with Sport and Recreation Victoria, the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust and Tennis Australia to manage redevelopment.Works commenced onsite in April 2010 with stage one of the project expected to be complete in time for the 2015 Australian Open.
In the 21 years since the Australian Open was moved from Kooyong to its current home at Melbourne Park, the event has grown significantly, attracting over 650,000 patrons in 2010 compared with 250,000 patrons in 1988.
The Open also makes an important contribution to Victoria, generating around 1,000 equivalent full time jobs, injecting $164 million into the economy and raising the tourism profile of our great city with almost 240 million viewers worldwide.
Melbourne Park is part of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks precinct, which each year hosts around 600 events and attracts more than two million people.