Melbourne is known for being the sporting capital of Australia and with first the major sporting event of 2017 less than a couple of months away, we thought we’d share why the Australia Open is one of our favourite events on the sporting calendar.
1. The Tennis
It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the hype and electric atmosphere of the first grand slam of the year. Dating all the way back to 1905, the Australian Open was initially named the Australian Championship before changing it’s name to the Australian Open in 1905. Over the years we have seen so many tennis greats take to the courts including Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, the William Sisters, Pete Sampras Andy Murray and Martina Hingis. In the 2015 tournament, there was a record 14.3m unique visitors to the Australian Open grounds.
2. The Location
When the Australian Open first started, the big players initially didn’t want to make the journey to the south side of the hemisphere due to the long travel times. However since the initial days, all the big players make it a regular stop on their tennis calendars. With several courts to choose from including the Margaret Court Arena, Rod Laver Arena, Hi Sense Arena, and the show courts, you can guarantee never to miss out on the action. Just a short ride from the CBD, Australian Open ticket holders are able to enjoy the FREE Yarra Trams shuttle services operating on route 70 from the CBD to Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena. The service operates until one hour after the end of play, including twilight and night sessions.
The Australian Open caters for all budgets. From avid tennis fans who want to splash out on Men’s final tickets to fans who just are keen to get into the spirit and purchase a grounds pass, it’s easy to watch a game no matter your budget. If you can’t afford a ticket to major courts, we recommend the grounds pass where you can enter the show courts or watch all the games on the big screen while still having the atmosphere of being at the game.
4. The Australian Open Festival & Open Sessions
Stop by the Australian Open Festival before or after the game and dine on some of Melbourne’s favourite foodie destinations. Last year we saw the likes of Mamasita, Gazi, Uncle, Gelato Messina, Huxtaburger, plus more, with 2017’s festival lineup still to be announced. Next year’s Australian Open will also be preceded by a free two-day music festival at Birrarung Marr with Jimmy Eat World as the headliners. Children will be able to experience Grand Slam tennis for just $5 at Australian Open 2017, with a new child’s ground pass designed to welcome more young tennis fans to Melbourne Park.
The Australian Open runs from 16 January – 29 January 2017.