Melbourne Park is situated within the Melbourne Sports Precinct on the edge of the city and is home of the first Tennis Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. Located within the expansive venue is Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Arena, Margaret Court Arena, a further two show courts including 1573 Arena, the National Tennis Centre, additional indoor and outdoor tennis courts with lighting, as well as a new function centre which is currently under construction along with a new show court. Melbourne Park first opened in 1988 as Flinders Park and at that time featured just Centre Court and two show courts. The venue has undergone significant redevelopment since to become what it is today.
Almost 750,000 people attend the Australian Open each year which is held over two weeks in January at Melbourne Park. Many more attend the venue throughout the year to play tennis and attend major sports and entertainment events. Rod Laver Arena has a capacity of around 15,000, Melbourne Arena 10,500, Margaret Court Arena 7,500, while Show Courts two (known as 1573 Arena during the Australian Open) and three both seat 3,000. Other courts also have room for spectators during the Australian Open with temporary grandstands erected.
Completed in 1988 at a cost of $94 million, Melbourne Park became the new home of the Australian Open, moving from the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. It underwent significant expansion in 1995 and has had further redevelopments throughout the past decade. Recently, improvements have been made to Rod Laver Arena and a media and administration building, while a new 5,000-seat show court and function centre will be built as part of the next stage. The venue is managed by the Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust.
National Tennis Centre