Tennis fans will get a first glimpse of a new-look Rod Laver Arena at Australian Open 2018 as a bold new makeover starts to take shape.
As part of the $975 million Melbourne Park Redevelopment, the iconic venue is undergoing an extensive upgrade designed to keep the Australian Open ahead of the Grand Slam pack.
The most noticeable changes for fans in 2018 will be three new specialty dining outlets aimed at reducing queues for food and drinks, plus upgraded bathroom facilities and improved disability access. The exterior of the arena is also undergoing a facelift.
“The tremendous support of the Victorian Government has ensured the Australian Open leads the world in Grand Slam facilities, and the current upgrades to Rod Laver Arena will improve access and comfort for our fans,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
“This is just the beginning of a major refurbishment of Rod Laver Arena, which is already one of the premier sports and entertainment stadiums in the world. We look forward to its completion in 2019, when there will be brand new seating and a stunning new eastern entry,” Tiley continued.
The world’s best tennis players will also be big winners, with significant backstage improvements creating a brand new player hub and enhanced surroundings and services.
“Creating a five-star service for our players is a priority for the Australian Open, and is a point of difference that makes us the favourite event for so many,” Tiley added.
“New player services for 2018 include a fully underground drop-off area with two new entry points as well as all services centralised to make it even easier to cater for players’ needs.”
The Rod Laver Arena upgrade follows the successful launch of Tanderrum Bridge as the new Australian Open entrance this year, providing a seamless link from the CBD to Melbourne Park.
“Tanderrum Bridge safely ushered hundreds of thousands of tennis fans from the city to the heart of the action and next year will be no different, with more people using the new entrance as an easier way to access the site,” Tiley explained.
Stage 3 of the Melbourne Park Redevelopment was announced earlier in the year, which will ensure Melbourne remains the global home of sport and entertainment.
Stage 3 will feature:
- A new multi-purpose 5,000-seat sunken show court and arena
- Central terrace with a new elevated outdoor public space
- A new function centre
- A media and broadcast centre
- Central kitchen, loading dock and logistics hub.