Melbourne Park gets a makeover [Archive] -

Melbourne Park gets a makeover

01-26-2009, 11:03 AM
Australian Open Upgrade Moves Closer as Government Drafts Plans

By Dan Baynes

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Australia's Victoria government will spend A$5 million ($3.2 million) drawing up plans to upgrade Melbourne Park, site of the Australian Open, as part of its push to retain the Grand Slam tennis tournament.

State Premier John Brumby today announced proposals that will be examined include increasing capacity, putting a roof on Margaret Court Arena, installing more practice courts, improving media facilities and adding a covered square for fans.

``The funding will be used to prepare detailed design and costings on the first stage of the project,'' Brumby said in a statement today. ``We are working to ensure Melbourne retains this important event for a further 20 years.''

If carried out, the project may cost as much as A$500 million, the Herald Sun reported.

The 6,000-seat Margaret Court Arena is the third-largest venue at Melbourne Park behind Hisense Arena and the main Rod Laver Arena, which already have retractable roofs.

Tennis Australia, which owns the tournament, and the Victoria government last month completed a A$2 million study into the 21-year-old venue, which is contracted to host the year's first Grand Slam until 2016. Shanghai, Dubai and Sydney have been linked in media reports with bids for the tournament.

Last year's Open attracted a record 605,735 patrons and Tennis Australia is predicting bigger crowds in 2009. The state government said the event is worth A$164 million to the local economy and generates 1,000 full-time jobs.

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer Steve Wood said in an interview last month that the event is ``basically out of capacity at about 600,000.''

The tournament, which began in 1905 as the Australasian Tennis Championships, was rotated around Australian cities and twice held in New Zealand before moving to Melbourne in 1972. It switched from the Kooyong to Melbourne Park in 1988.,0.jpg

Melbourne Park revamp to secure Australian Open

A facelift for Rod Laver Arena and a new roof for Margaret Court Arena are among revamped tennis facilities the State Government hopes will keep the Australian Open in Melbourne for the next 20 years.

Premier John Brumby this afternoon announced a $5 million investment towards planning the redevelopment of Melbourne Park, the home of Australia's tennis grand slam event.

The redevelopment will include:

- A modernised Rod Laver Arena

- A roof for Margaret Court arena

- A covered, piazza-style town square for tennis fans

- A walkway linking Melbourne Park to Birrarung Marr

- New Tennis Australia headquarters

- Better facilities for players and the media

The $5 million in funding will be used to develop a capital works program for Melbourne Park, as well as detailed design and costings for the project's first stage, which is due to be completed in 2016.

"When we get to the final stage, that will be the budget allocations," Mr Brumby said.

"You are looking at the total cost here over many years of hundreds of millions of dollars."

"Our current arrangement to host the Australian Open until 2016 is now fast approaching and we are working to ensure Melbourne retains this important event for a further 20 years."

The announcement comes after The Age revealed that Sydney had launched a bid to snatch the Open from Melbourne. There had also been interest from Shanghai, Dubai and Madrid.

Melbourne Park, home to the Australian Open for the past 21 years, has far more spectator traffic than the sites of the other three grand slams because it is a multi-purpose venue.

Mr Brumby said the redevelopment would be undertaken "over the years so that the Open can be continued to be conducted here with minimum disruption to all the spectators."

10-24-2013, 03:16 AM
Construction progress on Margaret Court Arena (timelapse images from May 2012 to September 2013) :)


(This seemed to be the most appropriate thread I could find to post this, even though the thread is quite old :confused: )

10-24-2013, 03:38 AM

10-24-2013, 03:47 AM
I think it's great you found and used an old thread :yeah:

The stadium is looking good. :)

10-24-2013, 04:09 AM
I think it's great you found and used an old thread :yeah:


10-24-2013, 05:55 AM
Best slam... It is way ahead of the rest...

Dmitry Verdasco
10-24-2013, 09:24 AM
I hope they don't start charging for Margaret Court Arena tickets though :sobbing:

I'm thinking that they will...