Brisbane, Australia, 7 December 2012 | Tennis Australia

The Brisbane International was named the best sports event in Queensland for 2012 at the 18th Annual Queensland Sport Awards at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday night.

“It’s a great honour for the Brisbane International to receive this award,” said tournament director Cameron Pearson.

“This is the second time we’ve been named the Queensland Sport Event of the Year. The first was in 2009, the inaugural year of the Brisbane International.

“This award is for everyone involved in the tournament from the tennis fans, players, volunteers and staff. They have all played an important role in making this the best event in Queensland.”

The other finalists in this category were Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars BBL (cricket), A-League Grand Final (soccer), Cairns Airport Adventure Festival (triathlon) and State of Origin 3 (rugby league).

The year 2012 was an exciting year for the Brisbane International – more of the world’s top female tennis players signed on to compete in the sunshine state after the tournament was upgraded by the Women’s Tennis Association to a Premier event, allowing unlimited participation by the world’s top 10 tennis players and a significant prize money boost to $655,000, which will increase again in 2013 to $1,000,000.

The Association of Tennis Professionals also recognised the Brisbane International this year for providing the best fan experience of any tournament throughout Asia/Pacific and Middle East.

“Our fans are what makes this event so special. We are always trying to ensure we deliver a great experience for them. The Brisbane International is much more than just a tennis tournament, it’s an event that has something for everybody,” explained Pearson.

Prior to the 2012 tournament swinging into action, upgrades were made to the Queensland Tennis Centre to improve the facilities and repair damage caused by the 2011 floods.

These refurbishments included larger player change rooms with better facilities, larger gym facilities, dedicated media work and dining area; refurbished corporate dining facilities; and dedicated player entrance with direct access to the change rooms and Centre Court.

“The Queensland Tennis Centre is a terrific facility and the new additions which have been primarily aimed at improving the amenities for players will keep it that way,” Pearson said.