On the eve of the 2014 Australian Open, the $338m second stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment has been announced which includes the Rod Laver Arena refurbishment and a new 5,000-seat show court.
The second phase complements the $363m stage one project which included the Margaret Court Arena upgrade featuring a new retractable roof, eastern plaza next to Hisense Arena and 21 new courts. The entire Melbourne Park masterplan is a 10-15 year project.
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine made the announcement on the eve of the first Grand Slam of the year. The state government will contribute more than $298 million for stage two of the project, and the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust will chip in with $40 million.
"This will serve Melbourne and Victoria well, not just for the Australian Open, but the thousands of other events that happen here every year," Napthine said.
Under the plans, a new bridge will be built over Batman Avenue from Birrarung Marr to Melbourne Park, giving the precinct a new western entrance. The Rod Laver Arena refurbishment will include a new eastern entrance and other improvements while there will also be a new media and administration centre built, a central terrace with a state-of-the-art roof and an improved garden square.
The new 5,000-seat show court will be built between Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, bringing the number of show courts to four. The existing show courts two and three each have seating for 3,000 fans while Margaret Court Arena will seat 7,500 once the current redevelopment is complete.
The second stage of the Melbourne Park redevelopment is expected to commence after the 2015 Australian Open.