The Andrews Labor Government has officially declared the Australian Open 2019 as a major event to crack down on ticket scalping at one of Melbourne’s most iconic international sporting events.
This summer’s Australian Open is expected to draw mammoth crowds following the record-breaking 743,667 fans that attended the tournament in 2018.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren made the decision to declare all matches at the Australian Open 2019 under the Major Events Act 2009 due to the expected strong demand for tickets for next year’s tournament.
The Australian Open is the latest in a string of major events to be protected under the legislation, with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, the AFL 2018 finals series, 2019 AFL Anzac Day blockbuster and Meredith Music Festival and its sister festival Golden Plains also being declared.
The Australian Open is the largest annual event in the southern hemisphere, attracting thousands of visitors from across the world and positioning Melbourne as Australia’s sporting and events capital.
The Labor Government has provided $271.55 million for stage three of the Melbourne Park redevelopment, which includes a new 5,000 seat show court arena, new function and media centre, and improved patron facilities.
The investment guarantees the Australian Open will remain in Melbourne until at least 2036, as well as creating 600 jobs during construction and supporting thousands of jobs in our tourism and hospitality industry.
Under the legislation, tickets to a declared major event cannot be advertised for resale or resold for more than 10 per cent above the original value.
New authorised ticketing officers will support Victoria Police in enforcing the new law and prosecuting ticket scalpers. Penalties can range from $806 up to $483,500 depending on the nature of the offences.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“By protecting the Australian Open from ticket scalpers, we’re ensuring more tennis fans have the opportunity to enjoy world-class major sporting events.”
“The Australian Open is one of the biggest events on Melbourne’s calendar and makes a massive contribution to our state’s economy – it deserves protection under our tough new laws.”
Quotes attributable to Australian Open Tournament Director and Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley
“Every year, disappointed fans miss out on experiencing the Australian Open due to unauthorised tickets. It has been a constant source of frustration and we welcome the decision to declare next year’s event under the new legislation.”
“We pride ourselves on being the most fan-friendly event in Melbourne and by declaring every match of the tournament, genuine tennis fans will have fair access to tickets from ground passes to in-stadium seats.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020