January’s Australian Open is set to break records with the best-of-the-best converging in Melbourne for the largest annual sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren joined Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley on Tuesday to officially launch the Australian Open 2019 and highlight its importance to Victoria.
Last year the Australian Open attracted a record breaking 743,667 fans, more than 40 per cent of which were from interstate or overseas, while online and broadcast coverage attracted more than a billion viewers.
Each year the Australian Open injects more than $270 million into the Victorian economy and creates more than 1200 jobs, making it the most significant major event in the state.
“The Australian Open is not just a showcase of the world’s best tennis players, it brings in thousands of people from interstate and overseas who boost our economy and support out local businesses,” said Eren.
This year’s Australian Open will showcase the state’s best food and wine, top bands and family entertainment.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested $972 million upgrading Melbourne Park to ensure it remains the most accessible and most successful tennis venue in the world. Construction on the final stage of the Melbourne Park Redevelopment will start after the Australian Open 2019.
This investment has guaranteed the Australian Open will remain in Melbourne through to at least 2036 and makes Melbourne Park one of the best music and entertainment venues in the world, hosting 300 events annually and attracting 2.5 million patrons.
For the first time in 2019, the Australian Open will be a declared major event under the Labor Government’s new ticket scalping legislation meaning it will be illegal to sell or advertise tickets to the event for more than 10 per cent above the ticket’s face value.
The legislation has already had success during the 2018 AFL Finals Series where around 250 tickets were taken down from re-sale websites and 175 people or organisations are now under investigation and facing fines ranging from $806 up to $483,500.
Minister Eren acknowledged Tennis Australia and the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust for their ongoing commitment to ensure the Australian Open remains the best tennis tournament in the world and that it stays in Melbourne.