The 5,000-seat arena is the signature element of the $271.5 million third stage of the redevelopment, which also incorporates a new events centre and conference space – Centrepiece at Melbourne Park – as well as two new match courts and a logistics hub.
The new arena is partially sunken into the ground and is located between Rod Laver Arena and John Cain Arena. It features an open roof structure which provides shade and weather protection for fans, ensuring the Australian Open remains the most weather-proof of the Grand Slams. It is due for completion in time for the 2022 Open.
Centrepiece is on track for completion in the second half of the year and will have a function room that can host 3,000 guests as well as pre-event spaces and purpose-built broadcast studios, an auditorium and interview rooms – all of which will ensure the Australian Open continues to lead the world in Grand Slam facilities.
When completed in time for the 2023 Australian Open, the final stage in the $972 million redevelopment will have created 2,300 full-time-jobs through the Victorian Government’s Local Jobs First Policy.
The works have been scheduled so as not to disrupt the operations of the Australian Open, which is locked in at Melbourne Park until at least 2039.
Fans at the 2021 Australian Open will file into the newly-badged John Cain Arena – formerly Melbourne Arena – renamed to honour the former Premier whose vision and determination in the 1980s led to the establishment of Melbourne Park and kept the Australian Open in Victoria.
The Chief Health Officer has approved the COVIDSafe Event Plan for the Open, to be played from 8-21 February, and a daily crowd capacity of 30,000 for the first eight days and then 25,000 per day from the quarter-finals – equal to half of the average attendance over the past three years.
Rigorous infection prevention and control measures will be enforced.
Some 973 Australian Open players and officials have undertaken Hotel Quarantine in Victoria, with individuals leaving quarantine in a staggered manner due to conclude on Sunday.