Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Sport John Eren announced $271.55 million to complete the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment in a move to ensure Melbourne can claim the title as global home of sport and entertainment.
Announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, the funding will guarantee that the Australian Open stays in Melbourne until at least 2036.
The third stage will feature a new multi-purpose 5,000-seat sunken show court and arena, central terrace with a new elevated outdoor public space, a function and media centre, broadcast studios, central kitchen, loading dock and logistics hub.
“This project will mean more visitors, more jobs, and even more chances to showcase to the world that Victoria has the best of everything,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
Fans will find their way around the courts easier with new and improved pathways, new scoreboards and signage. The southern entry will be realigned and the northern entry upgraded as part of the works, improving access for everyone.
The project will create 600 jobs during construction, and is expected to support thousands of tourism and hospitality jobs once complete.
Construction work is powering ahead on the new Rod Laver Arena eastern entry pod and world class player and artist facilities, while the newly opened Tanderrum footbridge safely ushered hundreds of thousands of tennis fans from the city to the heart of the action.
Stage 2 is set to be ready for the Australian Open 2019, and for construction of Stage 3 to begin the same year.
“We’re breathing new life into our iconic venues so we can host more events, and ensure Melbourne remains the home of sport and entertainment,” Minister for Sport John Eren said.
Melbourne Park Redevelopment Stages
The $366 million first stage of the redevelopment included:
- an extension of the south-west external concourse surrounding Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and Show Court 2
- improved connections between Rod Laver Arena, the Oval and Hisense Arena
- the addition of rainwater harvesting and treatment facilities.
- development of an elite tennis training facility, including eight indoor courts, 13 outdoor courts, and ancillary infrastructure incorporating change rooms, a gym and recovery facilities
- construction of a 1,000 space car park
- construction of an elevated deck to the east of Hisense Arena
- a bridge over Olympic Boulevard, providing an above-grade connection between the Eastern Plaza and AAMI Park.
- an upgrade to Margaret Court Arena, including an addition 1,500 seats, a retractable roof and a fully enclosed foyer and concourse
- upgrades to Rod Laver Arena’s internal concourse, including provision of additional food and beverage facilities.
The original project budget of $363 million increased to $366 million following a $3 million contribution from the Federal Government for the rainwater harvesting and treatment facilities.
The $338 million second stage of the redevelopment includes:
Administration & Media Building
- new administration facilities for Melbourne & Olympic Parks and Tennis Australia
- media and broadcast facilities for the Australian Open.
Batman Avenue Bridge
- a new primary pedestrian entrance to the precinct from the city
- a connection with Birrarung Marr to provide direct access from Flinders Street Station.
Rod Laver Arena Refurbishment
- new eastern-facing primary entrance, which will also provide food and beverage facilities and toilets
- an expanded public concourse space
- accessible entrances to the seating bowl
- significant back-of-house improvements to ensure that Rod Laver Arena can continue to host the best events in Australia.
The $271.55 million third stage will focus on the centre of the precinct completing the decade long vision of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Master Plan. Works include:
- a Central Terrace, which provides a new elevated public space in the heart of the precinct connected by ramps to Garden Square and Upper Terrace.
- a new Function and Media Centre including function rooms, pre-event spaces, interview rooms, a 200 seat auditorium and broadcast studios.
- a Central Logistics Hub including Central Kitchen and Central Loading Dock to deliver improved services for patrons, players, artists and hirers
- an Upper Terrace including a 5000 seat Show Court/Arena and match court.
North Match Courts
- two new match courts in the north-west court ladder
- permanent broadcast cabling to courts.
- new Staff Mustering areas within the Rod Laver Arena under croft.
Source: News Release, Urban Developer, 26th April, 2017