Media release – 07/02/19

 Game, Set, Match_Australian Open

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Melbourne; game, set, match Melbourne farewells the International Tennis community for another year, having ‘served up’ a wonderful two weeks of tennis. It is timely to reflect on the importance of the Australian Open and our broader investment in Melbourne’s Major Events infrastructure. This investment provides a significant return amplifying Melbourne’s global brand, stimulating the economy and proving a truly unique Melbourne experience.

Each year the Australian Open injects more than $290 million into the Victorian economy and creates more than 1000 jobs, making it one of the most significant annual events in the Asia Pacific region.

The 2019 event celebrated a record 796,000 visitors and achieved amazing national and global broadcast and social media audiences. Japan alone had over 20 million viewers tune in for Naomi Osaka’s historic win over Petra Kvitova.

The reach in China and Europe tells a similar story, in fact, over a billion viewers worldwide tune in. It worth going back 30 years to reflect on Melbourne’s investment in the Rod Laver Arena (RLA). An investment in a unique multipurpose venue; shaping Melbourne’s future. The RLA was officially opened January 11, 1988, and three decades have seen the renowned venue welcome millions of patrons to be entertained and inspired by an amazing list of artists, athletes, and performers, as well as the tennis. This ongoing investment in Melbourne and Olympic Park by government and community should be celebrated.

In 2018 The Melbourne and Olympic Park Trust won the Committee for Melbourne Achiever Award for their vision and commitment to shaping Melbourne’s future and the investment continues. Work on the final stage of the upgrade at Melbourne Park now commences start includes a new multi-purpose 5,000 seat show court and a new function and media centre. It is interesting to note the impact of the Australian Open beyond Melbourne Park, it is now truly an Asia Pacific Grand slam event, but the Major events landscape is undergoing profound changes due to Geopolitical and technological influences.

The Committee has held a number of ‘Sport 4.0’ forums as part of our ongoing advocacy for Melbourne’s prosperity through ongoing investment in sporting and major event strategies. Today Melbourne in Summer is a unique proposition and it is it is interesting to hear from some of our members on the impact of the Australian Open on their business.

“Fed Square recognises that sport is an integral part of Melbourne`s culture and we are delighted to broadcast blockbuster sporting events such as the Australian Open on the Digital Facade. The KIA Tennis Live Site, as part of our Summer of Sports campaign, has welcomed thousands of visitors to the Square. It’s great to see so many people experiencing a world-renowned sporting event, right here in the heart of the city.” Jonathan Tribe, Fed Square CEO

“The Australian Open Tennis Championships provides a significant boost to Melbourne’s economy, attracting sports enthusiasts from all over Australia and the globe, to enjoy this outstanding two-week tournament. This Grand Slam event attracts the world’s best tennis players who always comment on how much they love our city for its quintessential relaxed and friendly lifestyle, its famed restaurant and bar culture, art galleries, parks, and local experiences.” Laura Cavallo Chief Executive, GAICD, Destination Melbourne

“Melbourne’s tram network delivers passengers straight to the door of the Melbourne Park precinct, so it’s no wonder 40 percent of the 743,000 tennis fans attending last year’s Australian Open arrived by tram. This year Public Transport Victoria and Yarra Trams are running 110 extra trams and more than 3,000 extra services across the 14-day event to get people to and from the action conveniently. And for those with a ticket to the tennis, the tram is free. Our services start well before the first serve and continue through until an hour after the last ball has been struck each evening, regardless of how late that might be.” CEO of Public Transport Victoria (PTV), Jeroen Weimar 

Australia Open Tennis always serves up some of the best moments of the year. As the official accommodation partner for the third consecutive year, AccorHotels and Sofitel Melbourne On Collins guests are always surprised and delighted to walk around this great city and bump into one of their favourite tennis players, while staying with us in Melbourne, in one of our many hotels.” Clive Scott, General Manager Sofitel Melbourne on Collins -ENDSMedia contact Laura Kerr Melvin, Committee for Melbourne, 0434 107 949

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