Vixens and Tigers get sneak peek of new Margaret Court Arena
Members of the Melbourne Vixens netball team and Melbourne Tigers basketball team have taken a first look at the new Margaret Court Arena during a site tour with the Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett today.
“Most people would associate the upgrade of Margaret Court Arena with tennis and the Australian Open, but both netball and basketball are also set to benefit,” Mr Hodgett said.
“With its new operable roof and expanded seating capacity of 7500, Margaret Court Arena will provide a great mid-size venue for both teams, as well as providing an exceptional experience and comfortable viewing for their fans.
“The design for Margaret Court Arena features a glass curtain wall around its exterior that will open the building up to the outside and give people a sense of excitement about the activities going on inside.
“The arena will also feature a new high quality playing surface that will be more comfortable and reduce injury, allowing players to perform at their best.
“When visiting the site you really notice how much is going on. Lend Lease has done a fantastic job to maximise the amount of work that can be done at once, using innovative building techniques such as the ‘race track’ for boom lifts around the seating bowl.
“Margaret Court Arena is the only building project in the world where work stops each year for two months to hold an international sporting event. The pressure is constant to make the most out of each working day.
“The work is all part of the $366 million first stage of the Melbourne Park Redevelopment project which is upgrading the whole precinct for the Australian Open as well as the hundreds of other sporting and entertainment events held here each year,” Mr Hodgett said.
The Chair of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, Russell Caplan, said the redevelopment was coming along nicely and would add another fantastic dimension to the world-class precinct.
“Margaret Court Arena will now be an iconic and exciting venue in its own right, befitting the wonderful sporting legend whose name it carries,” Mr Caplan said.
“It will offer a great new option in Melbourne Park, in addition to Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena.
“This new venue presents a raft of new possibilities for events, concerts and sport here at Melbourne Park, not least for Vixens and Tigers matches,” Mr Caplan said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Vixens, Michelle Plane, said the Vixens were thrilled to have access to the redeveloped facility.
“Margaret Court Arena is a fantastic addition for the netball community, providing another great venue for us to utilise in the same precinct. It is the perfect size for us to create a really intimate experience for our fans at our smaller games,” Ms Plane said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Tigers, Michael Slepoy, said they were looking forward to being able to maximise the seating potential the state-of-the-art facility offered.
“We look forward to the completion of the redevelopment, and both players and supporters of the Melbourne Tigers eagerly await our first game at Margaret Court Arena,” Mr Slepoy said.