The world’s attention will once again shift to Melbourne this week as the 2018 Australian Open kicks off.
Minister for Sport John Eren today joined tournament officials, ball kids and tennis champions, including former World number one Billy Jean King, to officially launch the event.
This year the Open will be bigger and better than ever, with more activities and new facilities for the whole family.
More entertainers will be performing, including Australia’s own Daryl Braithwaite, Meg Mac and Client Liaison. There’s also a new and improved children’s zone – four times bigger than last year.
Between games, tennis fans can visit the Rockpool Dining and Nobu pop-up restaurants, or any of the new eateries in the revamped Rod Laver Arena.
Getting to and from the Open this year will be easier and safer than ever with the free tram zone extended to stops on either side of Melbourne Park.
The Andrews Labor Government is also deploying around 30 Protective Services Officers to patrol those tram stops and nearby train stations.
The Open takes place from 15 to 28 January and is the largest annual sporting event in the southern hemisphere.
Last year more than 728,000 fans poured through the gates – a new record – and even bigger numbers are expected this year.
The television and online audience has climbed to almost a billion people, giving the world’s most liveable city unrivalled coverage.
Every year the Open creates more than 1000 jobs, injecting more than $280 million into the Victorian economy.
For more information visit ausopen.com
Quotes attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren
“Hosting the Open is part of what makes Victoria the sporting and major events capital of Australia, and we’re making sure it stays that way.”
“We’re investing in our sporting infrastructure, including the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment, so Melbourne can continue to shine on the world stage.”
“This year’s event is bigger and better than ever. That’s a win for Victorian jobs and for the Victorian economy.”