News & Media

Melbourne Park redevelopment boosts Australian Open

The 2013 Australian Open promises to be an extra special event with sections of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $366 million redevelopment of Melbourne Park to be open for the first time, Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine announced today. 

Speaking at the launch of the 2013 Australian Open, Dr Napthine said the Open was an important event for Victoria. 

“The 2012 Australian Open had a record attendance of 686,000 people and attracted more than 135 million television viewers around the world,” Dr Napthine said.  

“The Australian Open makes a vital contribution to Victoria, generating around 1,000 full time equivalent jobs and $164 million annually into the state’s economy. Beyond all this, it is a brilliant sporting spectacle and one of the great traditions of January in Melbourne. 

“But as any tennis champion knows, you cannot rest on your laurels and that’s why the Coalition Government is continuing its work to transform the Melbourne Park precinct. 

“Work on the Eastern Plaza and National Tennis Centre is well ahead of schedule with some elements likely to be finished before Christmas – a year earlier than expected.  

“New entrances have been created for Hisense Arena and later tonight the final span of the new Edwin Flack footbridge will be lifted into place over Olympic Boulevard. 

“The Edwin Flack Bridge will join with the newly constructed Eastern Plaza to create an unbroken pedestrian link running from the MCG, through Melbourne Park and finishing at AAMI Park. This fantastic new public space will be open later this year,” Dr Napthine said. 

Dr Napthine said 1,500 extra seats and a new operable roof were also being installed at Margaret Court, making Melbourne the only Grand Slam to offer three operable roof stadiums. 

“What is amazing about this part of the project is that in December this year the builders will pack up, and Margaret Court Arena will undergo a transformation from a building site to a tennis arena for the duration of the Open. Then afterwards, the builders will move back in and work will continue,” Dr Napthine said. 

“The same thing will happen again in 2014, by which time we will have the steel roof frame in place and new seating plats installed. This will be a unique experience for everyone – there are not many building sites that host an international sporting event each year.  

“The Melbourne Park Facilities are already the envy of other Grand Slams and when Stage One is complete in late 2014 they will be even better. 

“The 2012/13 State Budget has also provided $5 million to plan Stage Two of the project, ensuring Melbourne Park sets the standard for Grand Slam venues for decades to come. 

“Another major new initiative, announced last month by the Premier Ted Baillieu during the Coalition Government’s Super Trade Mission to China, is the introduction of the Australian Open Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off, to be held in Nanjing later this month. Both the men’s and women’s competition winners will be awarded main draw wildcards into the Australian Open in 2013. 

“This initiative and our support for the Melbourne Park redevelopment shows the Victorian Coalition’s strong commitment to tennis and the continuing improvement of our world class sports and entertainment facilities,” Dr Napthine said.

The 2013 Australian Open promises to be an extra special event with sections of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $366 million redevelopment of Melbourne Park to be open for the first time, Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine announced today. 

Speaking at the launch of the 2013 Australian Open, Dr Napthine said the Open was an important event for Victoria. 

“The 2012 Australian Open had a record attendance of 686,000 people and attracted more than 135 million television viewers around the world,” Dr Napthine said.  

“The Australian Open makes a vital contribution to Victoria, generating around 1,000 full time equivalent jobs and $164 million annually into the state’s economy. Beyond all this, it is a brilliant sporting spectacle and one of the great traditions of January in Melbourne. 

“But as any tennis champion knows, you cannot rest on your laurels and that’s why the Coalition Government is continuing its work to transform the Melbourne Park precinct. 

“Work on the Eastern Plaza and National Tennis Centre is well ahead of schedule with some elements likely to be finished before Christmas – a year earlier than expected.  

“New entrances have been created for Hisense Arena and later tonight the final span of the new Edwin Flack footbridge will be lifted into place over Olympic Boulevard. 

“The Edwin Flack Bridge will join with the newly constructed Eastern Plaza to create an unbroken pedestrian link running from the MCG, through Melbourne Park and finishing at AAMI Park. This fantastic new public space will be open later this year,” Dr Napthine said. 

Dr Napthine said 1,500 extra seats and a new operable roof were also being installed at Margaret Court, making Melbourne the only Grand Slam to offer three operable roof stadiums. 

“What is amazing about this part of the project is that in December this year the builders will pack up, and Margaret Court Arena will undergo a transformation from a building site to a tennis arena for the duration of the Open. Then afterwards, the builders will move back in and work will continue,” Dr Napthine said. 

“The same thing will happen again in 2014, by which time we will have the steel roof frame in place and new seating plats installed. This will be a unique experience for everyone – there are not many building sites that host an international sporting event each year.  

“The Melbourne Park Facilities are already the envy of other Grand Slams and when Stage One is complete in late 2014 they will be even better. 

“The 2012/13 State Budget has also provided $5 million to plan Stage Two of the project, ensuring Melbourne Park sets the standard for Grand Slam venues for decades to come. 

“Another major new initiative, announced last month by the Premier Ted Baillieu during the Coalition Government’s Super Trade Mission to China, is the introduction of the Australian Open Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off, to be held in Nanjing later this month. Both the men’s and women’s competition winners will be awarded main draw wildcards into the Australian Open in 2013. 

“This initiative and our support for the Melbourne Park redevelopment shows the Victorian Coalition’s strong commitment to tennis and the continuing improvement of our world class sports and entertainment facilities,” Dr Napthine said.