VICTORIAN Treasurer Tim Pallas and Sports Minister John Eren have announced $271.55 million to complete the third stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment, which they said will ensure Melbourne remains the global home of sport and entertainment.
To be included as part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, the funding will guarantee that the Australian Open stays in Melbourne until at least 2036, following a record 728,000 spectators attending the grand slam event this year.
The third stage of the redevelopment 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.
It will also include new and improved pathways, new scoreboards and signage. The southern entry will be realigned and the northern entry will also be upgraded as part of the works.
Construction of the $338 million second stage of the redevelopment is currently underway, and includes new administration facilities for Melbourne & Olympic Parks and Tennis Australia, and new media and broadcast facilities for the Australian Open. Stage two also includes refurbishments to Rod Laver Arena and new access and connection arrangements to the city.
Stage 2 is set to be ready for the Australian Open 2019, with construction of Stage 3 to begin the same year.
The $366 million first stage of the redevelopment was completed in 2014 and included the construction of a roof over Margaret Court Arena, the new National Tennis Centre training facility, the Edwin Flack pedestrian bridge and a new Eastern Plaza.