Melbourne VIC, Australia, 4 January 2015 |

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews today celebrated the redeveloped Margaret Court Arena as the sparkling new show court prepares to host premier matches throughout Australian Open 2015.

With one of the world’s fastest-operating retractable roofs, the new Margaret Court Arena (MCA) will ensure the Australian Open has three major show courts that can stage matches regardless of weather conditions.

Watching on as some of Australia’s top National Academy athletes hit on the newly resurfaced court, Premier Andrews said that the new MCA – part of the multi-million-dollar Melbourne Park redevelopment – would ensure Melbourne continued to be recognised as a leader in hosting world-class sporting events.

“The Australian Open is one of our premier events, our region’s Grand Slam … (it’s) something that’s such a special part of Melbourne’s legitimate claim as the sporting and events capital of the world,” he said.

“Taking this stadium from a 6,000-seat open-air stadium to a 7,500-seat state-of-the-art facility with a roof that can close as it is now, we know that’s very important; that means that this Melbourne Park precinct is the only Grand Slam venue in the world with three courts just like this where the roof can close.

“Not that anyone would want this to be the case, but the entire tournament can now be played between Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Margaret Court Arena (in cases of extreme weather).

“If we’re going to continue to grow the event and reap the dividends that come from having one of the world’s four Grand Slam events here (in Melbourne), then we need to invest in the very best facilities so we can put on a world class tournament.”

Premier Andrews was joined at MCA by Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, who said that fans stood to greatly benefit from a new ticketing arrangement beginning at Australian Open 2015.

“We’ve been able to take the third stadium, Hisense Arena, and make that available for ground pass holders, so the capacity now for shade and for a comfortable seat for the Australian Open has increased significantly,” he said.

“We’re happy that at least 9,500 of our ground pass holders can sit in Hisense Arena for the cost of a ground pass ticket, while there’s no ticket that’s greater than $60 per seat here at Margaret Court Arena. So again we think it’s the best value for money right now from an entertainment point of view.

“It’s shaping up to be a fantastic summer if ticket sales are any indication.”