Coordinates : 37°49′18″S 144°58′42″E / 37.82167°S
144.97833°E / -37.82167; 144.97833
The venue at night, viewed from Batman Avenue in 2006
Tennis Centre at Flinders Park (1988–96)
Centre Court (1996–2000)
Olympic Boulevard and Batman Avenue
Melbourne VIC 3001
Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust
15,400 (basketball / netball )
Justin Timberlake , 18 November 2007
Plexicushion (tennis )
Hardwood (basketball / netball )
11 January 1988 (1988-01-11)
A$ 94 million (Original)
($230 million in 2010 dollars )
$23 million (1996 renovations)
($34 million in 2010 dollars )
Peddle Thorp Learmonth
Lendlease (formerly Civil "> Interior of arena during the 2015
Arena has a seating capacity of 14,820, with a capacity of
15,400 for sports such as basketball , when extra seats are added
around the court, and up to 16,200 for concerts with floor seating.
The arena currently attracts over 1.5 million visitors per year.
The arena was the first in
Australia to have a retractable roof
venue, and it is the largest indoor arena in
Australia without a
permanent roof (not counting the 56,347 seat
Docklands Stadium , also
in Melbourne, which is classed as a stadium rather than an arena). It
is also the second largest indoor arena in
Australia behind the 21,032
Sydney Super Dome
Sydney Super Dome . The arena's retractable roof allows
competitors to continue play during rain or extreme heat.
Arena is equipped with the
Hawk-Eye electronic system which
allows tennis players to challenge the umpire's decision on calls made
SPORTS AND EVENTS
Arena is the centrepiece of the National
Tennis Centre at
Melbourne Park , and besides tennis , the arena has hosted basketball
, motorbike super-crosses , music concerts , conferences, World
Wrestling Entertainment events and ballet . Other than for tennis,
during sporting events or concerts, a section of the southern the
lower seating bowl is retracted to allow space for a stage or special
floor level seating.
Arena acts as the centre court for the Australian Open
tennis championships every year. The man the arena is named after, Rod
Laver, is a frequent guest of honour at the Championships and has
presented the trophy to the men's singles champion on several
Arena was also the scene for Australia\'s famous Davis Cup
victories in 2003 . The arena hosted the semi-final and Final, at
Australia was successful in recording their 28th Davis Cup
Aside from tennis, the sport most often held at
the past was basketball . The arena's first basketball game was in
1991 when the Australian Boomers played host to a touring All-Star
team headlined by
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , with over 15,000 in
On 3 April 1992, the arena became the home of
Melbourne Tigers (now known as
Melbourne United ) defeated
Canberra Cannons 112-104. The venue was actually criticised in its
early days as a basketball venue due to the poor quality of the
backboards and rings used. However, these concerns were quickly
addressed and the arena became known as one of the best in the
country, especially with anywhere near a full house in attendance. The
arena was also home to the South East
Melbourne Magic (later renamed
Victoria Titans in 1998 after merging with the North Melbourne
Giants ) with both teams attracting some of the largest crowds in the
history of the NBL .
Arena was also the site of the first
ever "outdoor" pro basketball game in
Australia when the Magic hosted
Adelaide 36ers on 31 December 1997 with the roof open.
The largest basketball crowd at
Arena was set in 1996 when
15,366 attended a local derby game between the Magic and Tigers. This
remains the second largest basketball attendance ever in Australia
behind the 17,803 who attended an NBL game between the Sydney Kings
West Sydney Razorbacks at the
Sydney Super Dome
Sydney Super Dome in 1999. Game two
of the 1996 NBL Grand Final series, also between the Magic and Tigers,
saw the NBL's largest ever single game Grand Final crowd when 15,064
watched the Magic defeat the Tigers 88-84.
1992 saw the first time two teams from the one city had reached the
NBL Grand Final series when the Magic faced fellow
tenants the Tigers. With all games being played at the leagues largest
venue a record aggregate of 43,605 (average 14,535) fans saw the Magic
win their first championship two games to one, coming back to win
games two and three 115-93 and 95-88 after losing game one 98-116.
Arena hosted 287 NBL games including NBL
Championship deciders in 1992, 1996, 1997 and 1999, and played host to
its last game in April 2000 before Hisense
Arena opened in 2000 and
became the new home of basketball in Melbourne. The arena hosted the
Australian Boomers on numerous occasions, including playing against
Magic Johnson All-Stars in 1995, as well as hosting the 1997 FIBA
Under-22 World Championship , which
Australia won for the first time.
The arena also played host to the 1993 NBL All-Star Game with the NBL
Stars defeating the Boomers 124–119.
On 15 August 2015,
Arena played host to the opening game of
the 2015 FIBA Men\'s Oceania
Basketball Championship between the
Australian Boomers and the New Zealand Tall Blacks . In front of
Australia ran out 71–59 winners.
Arena was the centrepiece of the 12th FINA World Aquatics
Championships , which were held from 17 March-1 April 2007. A
temporary swimming pool, named the
Susie O'Neill Pool after Australian
swimming champion Susie O\'Neill , was built at significant cost.
Rod Laver was the host venue for the gymnastics competition at the
2006 Commonwealth Games
2006 Commonwealth Games .
The venue has hosted professional wrestling events such as the
World Championship Wrestling
World Championship Wrestling event in October 2000, World Wrestling
All-Stars and World Cup skateboarding .
See also: Entertainment events at
Arena consistently hosts Melbourne's highest-profile
musical and entertainment concerts . In 2009, the arena polled 9th out
of 50 worldwide top arenas for first-quarter ticket sales, making it
the second highest ticket selling venue in Australia, second to
Sydney's Qudos Bank
Arena , which placed third. In 2012, the arena
became Australia's highest selling venue and 4th in the world, based
on 2011 ticket sales.
Rod Laver Arena's record attendance of 16,183 was set on 18 November
2007 for a
Justin Timberlake concert during his FutureSex/LoveShow
American singer P!nk performed a record breaking 18 concerts at the
venue in the winter of 2013 with her
Truth About Love Tour , beating
her own record of 17 shows from the
Funhouse Tour in 2009. She is
currently the artist who holds the record for most shows at the venue.
Arena at night in the 2013
From 1988 until 2007, the surface of the court at the Australian Open
Rebound Ace , which was coloured green and
played slowly. The surface was also blamed for many injuries in the
Australian Open, with many players claiming that the surface became
sticky in hot weather, making it difficult to play on.
In 2008, the surface was changed to
Plexicushion , which is coloured
blue. The surface is similar in properties to
DecoTurf , the surface
used in the US Open . This has more cushioning and more "give" than
Rebound Ace. The change of surfaces gained a mostly positive reaction
from players, as the surface is said to be easier to play on than
It has also had a temporary grass court in use, during the 1993 Davis
Cup quarterfinals, 2001
Davis Cup final and the 2003
Davis Cup final.
In June 2015, it was announced that the arena would undergo a
redevelopment of its exterior facade and interior customer features,
such as bars and other facilities. The refurbishment constitutes the
main aspect of the $338 million second stage of redevelopments
occurring at the
Melbourne Park precinct , which includes a new
pedestrian bridge linking
Melbourne Park and
Birrarung Marr and a new
media and administration centre. Construction began in April 2016
and is expected to conclude in 2019-2020. The refurbishment includes
a new eastern-facing primary entrance, an expanded public concourse
space and other amenities designed to "open up" the arena and provide
enhanced facilities and entry points for spectators.
Tennis Centre at Flinders Park (11 January 1988—28
Centre Court (29 January 1996—15 January 2000)
Arena (16 January 2000—Present)
* 16,183 -
Justin Timberlake , 18 November 2007
* 39,299 -
Lady Gaga , 23, 24 March 2010
* 42,765 -
Green Day , 14, 16 December 2009
* 15,366 - South East
Melbourne Magic vs
Melbourne Tigers , 22 June
* 15,062 -
Australia vs New Zealand , 15 August 2015
* 14,820 -
Australian Open /
Davis Cup (various)
List of tennis stadiums by capacity
List of tennis stadiums by capacity
* List of sports venues in
* List of indoor arenas in
* List of National
Basketball League (Australia) venues
* ^ http://www.austadiums.com/stadiums/stadiums.php?id=97
* ^ A B Australian Consumer Price Inflation figures follow the Long
Term Linked Series provided in Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011)
6461.0 – Consumer Price Index: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2011
as explained at §§3.10–3.11; this series comprises "from 1901 to
1914, the A Series Retail Price Index; from 1914 to 1946–47, the C
Series Retail Price Index; from 1946-47 to 1948-49, a combination of
the C Series Index, excluding rent, and the housing group of the CPI;
and from 1948–49 onwards, the CPI." (3.10). Retrieved May 4, 2015
* ^ "Tennis".
Melbourne & Olympic Parks. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
* ^ National
Tennis Centre Trust and Zoological Board of Victoria
(Report) (20 ed.). L.V. North. April 1993. p. 5. ISBN 0730634353 .
* ^ Colebatch, Tim (12 January 1988). "Melbourne\'s
state-of-the-art tennis centre is a knockout".
The Age .
Australia . Retrieved 21 October 2013.
* ^ Sources for original venue name:
* Rabar, Julia (18 January 2013). "Looking back at the Australian
Open from Kooyong to
Herald Sun . The Herald and
Weekly Times . Retrieved 19 May 2015.
* "25 Years of Retractable Roof
Tennis in Australia". World Tennis
Magazine. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
* Feinstein, John (1991). "The Finlders Park Jinx". Hard Courts:
Real Life on the Professional
New York City
New York City , New York :
Villard Books . ISBN 9780307800961 .
* Higdon, David (30 January 1994). "Women\'s
Tennis Misses Seles As
Graf Wins Again".
Tribune Publishing . Retrieved 19 May
* Rowthron, Chris (September 2002). Landragin, Alex; Daly, Kate,
eds. Victoria (4th ed.).
Lonely Planet . p.
137. ISBN 1740592409 .
* Beckley, Rachel (1 December 2012). "10Best: The History of
Melbourne Park, Home of the Australian Open".
USA Today . Gannett
Company . Retrieved 19 May 2015.
Peddle Thorp designed opening roof at
Peddle Thorp Architects. 3 February 2012. Retrieved 19 May
* ^ "Centre court named after Laver".
New Straits Times
New Straits Times . Kuala
Malaysia . 22 December 1999. p. 43. Retrieved 21 October
* ^ Brandie, Lars (13 May 2013). "Pink\'s Australian
Grows to 45 Shows". Billboard .
Prometheus Global Media