When John Travolta sang ‘Greased Lightning’ in 1978, he probably wasn’t thinking about retractable rooves.
But down at Rod Laver Arena that’s exactly what the new roof is.
The old roof was opened by Australian tennis legend Neil Fraser 30 years ago and was a revolutionary concept at the time. However it was slow to close and that could be problematic – especially with Melbourne’s four seasons in a day climate!
Fittingly, the honour of opening the new roof again went to Neil, who said he was far more relaxed this time around.
Neil didn’t have long to wait after he pressed the button… the arena’s 300+ tonne roof previously took 30 minutes to open, but now takes less than five minutes.
The complexity and innovation of the works undertaken to upgrade the integrated mechanical systems within the existing 30 year old Arena have been widely acknowledged as an engineering marvel.
The project has been a great boost for local industry too, with all the steel works manufactured locally at Crib Point Engineering in Hastings, Victoria.
It’s just one of several new improvements to Rod Laver Arena set to take the entertainment experience at the venue to a whole new level.