Melbourne Park is ready to host the biggest names in world tennis when the Australian Open 2018 kicks off in just over a week.
Acting Minister for Sport Philip Dalidakis joined Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley to officially start the final countdown to the 2018 Grand Slam. The event takes place from 15 to 28 January and is the largest annual sporting event in the southern hemisphere.
“The Australian Open gets bigger and better every year and it’s the perfect way to kick off Melbourne’s packed calendar of sports and major events for 2018. There’s something at the Australian Open for everyone and I urge all Victorians to get down to Melbourne Park to enjoy the tennis, food and entertainment.”
Acting Minister for Sport Philip DalidakisIt features the world’s best international and home-grown tennis stars such as Roger Federer, Daria ‘Dasha’ Gavrilova, Nick Kyrgios and Ashleigh Barty.
Alongside the tennis, another highlight of the event will be the return of the 15 day Australian Open festival, which features an impressive cast of world class entertainers including Australia’s own Jimmy Barnes and Tina Arena. There’ll also be a huge new children’s zone – four times bigger than before.
Fans will also be able to enjoy world class food at the Rockpool Dining and Nobu pop-up restaurants as well as an array of new eateries and improved facilities in the revamped Rod Laver Arena.
Last year a record 728,763 fans poured through the gates and more than 900 million international and national fans tuned in to the Australian Open online and via television broadcasts.
“We are very fortunate to have the support of the Victorian government, and with their help, the Australian Open now leads the world in Grand Slam facilities.
Australian Open Tournament Director and CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley
The event creates more than 1000 jobs every year and injects more than $280 million into the Victorian economy.
The event is one of the many reasons that Victoria is the sporting and major events capital of Australia, and the Andrews Labor Government is making sure it stays that way.
The Labor Government announced $271.55 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to complete the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment.
The redevelopment will feature a new 5,000 seat show court arena, new function and media centre and improved patron facilities – guaranteeing the Australian Open will remain in Melbourne until at least 2036.
For information on the Australian Open or tickets go to www.ausopen.com