Australian Open 2006 - Bring It On!
‘Bring It On!’ was the message at the launch today of Australian Open 2006, with the eagerly anticipated tickets for the Grand Slam tournament going on sale on Thursday 29 September.
Patrons in 2006 will benefit from a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Melbourne Park site which will take spectator access and comfort to new heights at this international sporting festival.
Among the major improvements will be the replacement and upgrading of all 15,000 seats in Rod Laver Arena in a $3.3 million refurbishment of the main Arena by the venue’s operators, Melbourne & Olympics Parks Trust.
Other major upgrades include the construction of a new City Entrance which patrons will access along the Australian Open Champions Walk which celebrates the rich history of the Grand Slam tournament at Melbourne Park.
Players will be able to utilise the new Indoor Hall on the site which will be used during the tournament for practice and stretching, with the changing rooms near the existing indoor courts also being upgraded.
“The Australian Open Centenary in 2005 raised the bar to new levels of excitement and entertainment at the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific,” said Tennis Australia President, Geoff Pollard.
“Thanks to investment by Tennis Australia, and a multi-million dollar investment by Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust, 2006 promises to make that experience even better for the hundreds of thousands of patrons who come along each year to enjoy this two week festival of colour, music and great tennis.
“If you enjoyed 2005, you’re going to love Australian Open 2006,” said Pollard.
Over 500 of the sport’s top players will converge on Melbourne Park in Janaury to vie for the prestigious title of Grand Slam champion and a record prizepool of AUD$19.3 million – one of the biggest in world sport – with the men’s and women’s winners picking up AUD$1,220,000 each.
Sunday evening on the middle weekend will see the introduction of a new night session giving visitors another reason to attend the tennis on this hugely popular weekend which last year set a world record for a tennis event with over 60,000 visitors through the gates on the Saturday.
Back will be the prime time night final for the men’s singles which proved a hugely successful introduction in 2005, attracting the largest TV audience in Australia since the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Also returning will be the night feature matches on Margaret Court Arena on the first six evenings for Ground Pass ticket holders.
And adding to the entertainment for visitors will be some of Australia’s top bands performing on stage in Garden Square in the break between the day and night sessions which proved an additional drawcard for fans looking for a great day out when introduced during the Centenary last year.
Feature concerts will also be held on the final weekend - following the women’s singles final on the Saturday, and prior to the start of men’s night final on the Sunday.
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