Adelaide will host some of the world’s best tennis stars in 2020 with a new week-long ATP and WTA combined tennis tournament set to take place at Memorial Drive.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley and Tennis SA President Kent Thiele and CEO Steven Baldas were joined by SA Premier Steven Marshall and SA Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Corey Wingard MP for the announcement today.
A $10 million SA Government commitment to the Memorial Drive Centre Courts Redevelopment has enabled Adelaide to host the event. Stage One of the project will include:
- A new woven fibreglass membrane fabric roof covering the existing stands and centre courts
- Four refurbished ITF standard Plexicushion match courts
- New fencing and lighting
- Improved access between the centre and outside courts during tournaments.
Craig Tiley said Tennis Australia had a vision for the future of the Australian tennis summer which would see the global tennis season launched each year in more cities across the country.
“It’s important for us to continually improve on the great tennis offering we have in Australia to ensure there are more opportunities for players, more opportunities for fans to get to see them in their home towns and more global exposure for our sport,” Mr Tiley said.
“A major part of that vision is delivering more world-class tennis to capital cities around Australia which is what this tournament will help do. It is a vital piece in our vision to ultimately grow tennis and provide inspiration for future generations,” he continued.
“We are thrilled to welcome the return of international tennis to Memorial Drive, which will showcase Adelaide and South Australia to a global television audience from more than 200 countries,’’ Premier Steven Marshall said.
“This significant investment will attract more interstate and overseas visitors to South Australia to support our growing $6.9 billion visitor economy and create jobs, enhancing our reputation as a world-class destination for tourism and sporting events.
“My government is committed to investing in infrastructure projects that stimulate the economy, grow local jobs and leave a positive legacy for future generations.
“I look forward to welcoming world tennis stars, and interstate and international visitors to Adelaide, when the event kicks-off next year,” he continued.
Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing, Corey Wingard, said the new roof would give Memorial Drive an increased capacity to host small to medium concerts and a ‘live-site’ during major events at Adelaide Oval, such as AFL games.
“The roof will also allow for the year-round training of the state’s tennis talent and for use by community groups who are able to access Memorial Drive,” Minister Wingard said.
“Thousands of budding tennis players will now get the chance to see their heroes play live in their home state. The flow-on benefits from such a tournament to the state’s sporting communities is immense,” he continued.
Tennis SA CEO Steven Baldas said the new tournament in Adelaide and improved facilities at Memorial Drive will help attract new fans to the sport.
“The redevelopment of Memorial Drive and the securing of a week-long WTA and ATP combined tournament is extremely exciting for tennis in South Australia,” Mr Baldas said.
“We have a long tennis history in Adelaide and the upgrades to the facilities announced today by the Premier and Minister Wingard will help us connect to a whole new generation of fans across the country and the globe by providing a new source of inspiration for young athletes to choose our sport.”
“We’ve worked closely with the SA Government, via the South Australian Tourism Commission, to ensure world-class men’s and women’s tennis content will be played in Adelaide from 2020,” he continued.
The week-long tournament, which is subject to ATP and WTA approval, is expected to attract more than 120 of the world’s top singles and doubles players and offer a minimum of $2 million in total prize money.