Major redevelopments to the home of the Australian Tennis Open, Melbourne Park are to continue, the Minister for Major Projects Denis Napthine has confirmed. With 686,000 spectators attending last year’s event and over 135 million television viewers, pressure is mounting on the venue to support such a popular event.
Costing AUS$366m in total, the multi-stage development is already underway, with plans to install 1,500 extra seats and an operable roof at Margaret Court, making the Australian Open the only Grand Slam to offer three operable roof stadiums.
Napthine said: “As any tennis champion knows, you cannot rest on your laurels and that’s why the Coalition Government is continuing its work to transform the Melbourne Park precinct. Work on the Eastern Plaza and National Tennis Centre is well ahead of schedule with some elements likely to be finished before Christmas - a year earlier than expected.
“New entrances have been created for Hisense Arena and [last night] the final span of the new Edwin Flack footbridge was lifted into place over Olympic Boulevard. The Edwin Flack Bridge will join the newly constructed Eastern Plaza to create an unbroken pedestrian link running from the MCG, through Melbourne Park and finishing at AAMI Park. This fantastic new public space will open later this year.”