THE Australian Open should be an event marked down on the calendar for students looking for a quintessentially Melbourne experience. Tim Morgan explains why you have even more reason to ditch the couch and catch a live match in 2014.
Students will easily be able to avoid Melbourne’s blistering heat at next year’s Australian Open thanks to a new roof on Margaret Court Arena.
For starters, the new roof will provide immediate comfort by increasing the amount of shaded seating in and around the stadium, and when fully operational in 2015, is expected to make the Australian Open the only Grand Slam event with three enclosable courts.
The upgrade to Margaret Court Arena is part of a $366 million upgrade to the Melbourne Park precinct that aims to better connect Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Olympic Park.
The price tag seems justified due to the tournaments growing popularity.
Last year a record 686,006 fans entered Melbourne Park smashing the 2010 mark by more than 30,000.
Nearly 100,000 of those visitors were from overseas.
The 2014 Australian Open was officially launched October 1 at the Melbourne Park precint, and speaking at the launch was Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.
“We very much look forward to the 2014 Australian Open which promises to be the biggest and best Australian Open ever,” Mr Napthine said.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tilley also confirmed the prize money pool would increase by three million to $33 million.
“Why? Because we believe the players deserve it,” Mr Tilley said.
Thankfully for students the price of a ticket hasn’t changed, and they can get a ground pass for the first five days play for $34.
The tournament starts January 13.
Visit the Australian Open website for tickets or more information about the event.