The world’s international sporting spotlight turned to Melbourne last week as the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific, the Australian Open, got underway.
Premier Ted Baillieu joined Tournament Director Craig Tiley at the Rod Laver Arena entrance to welcome players and fans to Australia’s sporting and event capital and officially start the 2013 Australian Open tournament.
The Australian Open is a leading event on Melbourne’s major events calendar, held during the summer holiday period for Australians, and attended by many international tourists, the Open continues to attract the best players and biggest crowds in the world.
It is a fantastic event for Victoria, the Australian Open generates an estimated $239 million benefit and more than 1,400 jobs for the Victorian economy.
Over the course of the Open both fans and players will not only get to experience some stand-out tennis, but Melbourne Park’s new $366 million Stage One redevelopment will be on show for everyone to enjoy.
There’s the new 21-court National Tennis Centre, the adjacent public and entertainment Eastern Plaza; the Edwin Flack Bridge to AAMI Park; improved ticketing facilities; more elevated viewing decks providing a bird’s-eye view of all the court action; and upgraded entries to Hisense Arena, delivered a year earlier than originally scheduled
The eyes of the world will be focused on Melbourne over the coming days as more than 300 million people around the world are expected to watch the 2013 Australian Open.
The Australian Open is a fantastic event for the players, the spectators and for Victoria. The Coalition Government is committed to developing new and innovative ways to maintain our competitive edge as a leading tourist destination, as well spread the benefits that Victoria’s major events bring across the State in the current environment of the high Australian dollar.