26 April 2018 | Tennis SA

Tennis SA President Kent Thiele and CEO Steven Baldas were joined by the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, Minister for Defence Industry, and Federal Member for Sturt, today to launch construction of the Memorial Drive redevelopment stage one.

Mr Pyne, along with Hon Corey Wingard MP, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese and South Australian tennis legend John Fitzgerald, were present to turn the sod on the $9.79 million project set to revamp the Memorial Drive sporting precinct and ensure the heritage of Memorial Drive is retained for years to come.

“This first stage will help to continue the proud history of Memorial Drive and will ensure more people are playing tennis more often by increasing the number of high-quality courts available in the city,” Mr Pyne said.

“Not only will this bring more tennis to this great city, but it will also serve as an entertainment hub for the city.”

“The construction of the first stage is excellent news for the City of Adelaide and adds to the recent developments in the Riverbank Precinct,” said the Lord Mayor.

“The City of Adelaide is delighted to be a part of this project and thank the Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Next Generation Memorial Drive, Adelaide Oval and Tennis SA for their collaborative approach, along with the Federal government for its $9.79 million funding commitment.”

Tennis SA CEO Steven Baldas described the turning of the sod as an exciting day for South Australian tennis.

“It will also provide state-of-the-art facilities for the next generation of tennis players to be able to train on all three Grand Slam surfaces allowing us to continue our proud legacy of producing world-class players such as Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Woodforde, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Alicia Molik, Darren Cahill and John Fitzgerald.”

“The completion of stage one will also make us ready to begin stage two, the redevelopment of our centre court stadium, enabling us to go after world-class events such as Davis and Fed Cup home ties as well as other international standard professional events.” Mr Baldas continued.

The $9.79 million Stage 1 project includes:

  • A new outdoor sunken show court and six new match courts
  • Tennis pavilion overlooking the show court, with ability to be used as an operational base for tennis and tournament activities within the precinct
  • A five-court clay court centre with show court and pavilion
  • Reestablishment of 13 natural grass courts and four new synthetic grass courts
  • A state-of-the-art National Academy training venue with all three Grand Slam surfaces – clay, grass and hardcourt – so that South Australia can continue to produce world class players
  • State-of-the-art LED lighting to tournament standard on all match and practice courts
  • Improved amenities with walkways, shade, shelter and chilled water fountains
  • Secure and dedicated access from Tennis SA Centre Courts to show court, tennis pavilion and new match courts

Memorial Drive vision

The Memorial Drive redevelopment will bring life and energy to the area and the surrounding Riverbank Precinct 365 days of the year and includes:

  • Australia’s newest tennis complex and a new destination for significant international matches, such as Davis Cup and Fed Cup, Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) events
  • A desirable location for the world’s tennis elite to visit and compete in the lead-up to the Australian Open
  • A preferred practice base for Australia’s tennis elite providing three of the world’s Grand Slam court surfaces, one of only two complexes within Australia to do so, enabling athletes to train in their home environment
  • A high performance academy training environment
  • South Australia’s first “all weather arena” with a state of the art “Wimbledon style” retractable roof and crowd seating design, creating the ultimate atmosphere to attract small to medium concerts and events to the Riverbank precinct
  • Spaces for new cafes and offices, with potential to accommodate other sports or attract corporate headquarters from interstate or overseas.

Realising this vision will ensure Tennis SA’s financial sustainability by allowing the organisation to diversify revenue streams and become commercially viable, reducing its reliance on government funding for future operations.

Kennett Builders will begin construction of stage one this week, with completion expected in early 2019.