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Australian Open 2021 will take place at Melbourne Park from 8 to 21 February. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday 23 December.
“This will be an historic Australian Open on so many levels,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
“For the first time in more than 100 years the Australian Open will start in February and we look forward to offering the players what we believe will be one of their best playing experiences in 2021.
“From the outset, ensuring players have the best possible preparation for the Australian Open, while at all times protecting the precious COVID-free environment that the Victorian community has built through incredible sacrifice and hard work over the past six months, has been paramount.
“It has taken eight months of working alongside government authorities, here in Victoria, nationally and interstate, to give us the opportunity to present an Australian Open that will play a major role in both the economic and psychological reinvigoration and rejuvenation of Melbourne and Victoria.
“AO 2021 is going to be all about supporting local businesses – our tennis coaches, the farmers, food and wine producers, chefs, artists and musicians – and celebrating everything that is great about our country, as well as providing opportunities to those who’ve been so hard hit during the pandemic, particularly in Melbourne and Victoria.”
Australian Open 2021 will feature singles, doubles and wheelchair competitions. AO qualifying will be held offshore, with the women’s event taking place in Dubai, and men’s qualifying in Doha from 10-13 January. The AO Junior Championships has been postponed until later in the year.
Players will compete for more than $80 million in prize money during their time in Australia, with the AO total prize pool remaining at the 2020 level of $71.5 million. Players exiting in the first round of the AO will take home $100,000, up 15 per cent from 2020. There have also been significant increases to prize money for qualifying and the early rounds, with the full breakdown to be provided in the coming weeks.
The world’s top players have been eagerly awaiting final confirmation of the AO dates and details and can now prepare to arrive in Australia from 15 January and undertake mandatory quarantine for 14 days. All players and their teams arriving for the AO are above and beyond the numbers of returning Australians.
“Melbourne is the home of the biggest sporting events and it’s fantastic that arrangements have been settled for Melbourne Park in February,” Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Jaclyn Symes said.
“The 2021 Open will look a bit different and that’s necessary to ensure the safety of everyone, from players, ballkids and the wider community.”
Australian Open 2021 tickets go on sale to the general public at 12:00 noon AEDT Wednesday 23
 

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50% attendance? They are crazy, unreal levels of risk. It would be better to do in January without public. But of course, they wouldn't make money this way.

Covid is much more dangerous to spectators and workers than it is for players.
 

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I'm a Victorian, so I know my local government pretty well. They're incredibly conservative when it comes to the coronavirus, so all manner of testing and checks will be in place before the AO goes ahead. If they think there's a reasonable chance that the AO will lead to significant community transmission of the virus, they'll have no qualms in cancelling the entire tournament, irrespective of financial losses.
 

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I'm a Victorian, so I know my local government pretty well. They're incredibly conservative when it comes to the coronavirus, so all manner of testing and checks will be in place before the AO goes ahead. If they think there's a reasonable chance that the AO will lead to significant community transmission of the virus, they'll have no qualms in cancelling the entire tournament, irrespective of financial losses.
So I guess we won't know for sure if it happens until the very last minute?
 

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There are people with covid at home and nobody has a clue they have it, so some of those people could easily attend the AO and spread it.
It would only take one person to spread it very quickly at the AO.
 

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So I guess we won't know for sure if it happens until the very last minute?
Obviously they'll very much hope it goes ahead, being good for the economy and all. But as an example, Australia has had essentially no covid cases for the past few weeks, but in the past few days there's been a nasty cluster (30+) in Sydney. Even relatively low numbers such as these worry premiers of other states, not just NSW. If figures such as these, or worse, are being recorded in early Feb, it's almost a certainty that at the very least the Victorian government will cancel crowds, especially any crowds from overseas/interstate.
 
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Speaking as a Melbournian, they are absolute idiots.

With 50% attendance, a third Covid wave is almost inevitable

They will **** our lives up for 2021, we will have to go into lockdown again.

Greed and $$$ win again
 

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Wow.

Unexpected.

But a real crowd.. epic.
 
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There is a traditional Boxing Day cricket test match in Melbourne between Australia & touring India (Dec 26th-30th). Big deal in Australia (and other cricket countries). Crowds of up to 30k will be allowed, and MCG is right next to Melbourne Park. That should provide an interesting test case. Sydneysiders from cluster hotspots will already effectively miss it due to the prospect of fortnight hotel quarantine over Xmas.

Northern states have had 30k crowds for some football events this year with no problems. A month ago there were nearly 50K at a State of Origin decider.
 

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a sick money grab.

Thousands of Australians still stranded abroad, unable to return home due to draconian Australian government restrictions - yet - they're perfectly fine with a thousand foreigners coming over for a bit of a tennis hit, as long as they bring in the $$$$

Pathetic.
 

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There are people with covid at home and nobody has a clue they have it, so some of those people could easily attend the AO and spread it.
It would only take one person to spread it very quickly at the AO.
No, the testing is more thorough than that, and even one case at home is enough to show in sewage testing, which would lead to a testing blitz.

As already pointed out other sporting events with bigger crowds have been held elsewhere. The risk from the tennis is greater because of the risk a player or their entourage brings in some virus.

However keeping there from being cases at home in Australia is very fragile. Cases in Australia arrive from returning Australians, or travellers. Hence the quarantine. But quarantine is not perfect and when a case gets through quarantine, as it currently the situation in Sydney, the measure to 'stomp out' are huge.
 

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a sick money grab.

Thousands of Australians still stranded abroad, unable to return home due to draconian Australian government restrictions - yet - they're perfectly fine with a thousand foreigners coming over for a bit of a tennis hit, as long as they bring in the $$$$

Pathetic.
Yup.

One the other hand, the tennis is helping funding more flights and in theory committed to the process of enabling bringing more Australians back as well.

Not a good look even if they do help.
 

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Wouldn't you say that 40,000 Australian People are also a "pretty important cultural thing" in Australia ? 🤷‍♂️
 

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Wouldn't you say that 40,000 Australian People are also a "pretty important cultural thing" in Australia ? 🤷‍♂️
I think it is ambiguous if you mean crowds or stranded Australians. I take it you mean the later, which may not be clear as the number is not certain. They have bring back around 8,000 a week, but the numbers keep growing. If it was really only 40,000 ... they would all be back for the tennis.
 

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There should be no crowds for the year out of respect to residents of each country. I enjoyed uso despite no fans
 

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AO is a pretty important cultural thing in Australia. It's definitely not a "bit of a tennis hit".
Most people enjoy watching the tennis from home rather than baking in the sun anyway.

Rod laver tickets are too expensive for most, and outside court matches are usually shit.

The cultural element is watching on television with the air conditoner on
 

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Getting closer to normal! Let’s hope RG is played under close to normal conditions, I might actually cry when Wimbledon starts this year.
 

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Watching the outer courts at the US OPEN up close is BETTER than tv. There shouldn't be any crowds in Melbourne.
 
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