Show Court Arena
Kia Arena
Melbourne KIA Arena (7 Jan 2022).jpg
View of the arena in January 2022
Full nameShow Court Arena
LocationMelbourne Park, MSEP
Melbourne, Victoria
Australia Australia
Coordinates37°49′18″S 144°58′51″E / 37.82162°S 144.98095°E / -37.82162; 144.98095Coordinates: 37°49′18″S 144°58′51″E / 37.82162°S 144.98095°E / -37.82162; 144.98095
OwnerGovernment of Victoria
OperatorMelbourne & Olympic Parks
Capacity5,000
SurfaceGreenSet
Construction
Built2019–21
OpenedJanuary 2022
Tenants

Show Court Arena, also known by naming rights sponsorship as Kia Arena, is an open-air tennis stadium located in Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The arena opened in advance of the 2022 Australian Open. It seats 5,000 spectators and is the fourth-largest tennis venue at Melbourne Park.

History

In April 2017, the Victorian Government announced it would proceed with the third and final stage of the ongoing redevelopment of the Melbourne Park sporting and entertainment precinct, which had begun in 2010.[1] The construction of Show Court Arena was the most prominent component of this redevelopment stage, which came at an overall cost of $271.5 million.[2] The arena is situated on the site of the old Eastern Courts 16-23, between Rod Laver Arena and John Cain Arena, and slightly to the north of the large public grassed area known as "Grand Slam Oval" during the Australian Open.[3][4] Demolition of the old courts and the adjacent function and broadcast centre (which itself was demolished and replaced with an upgraded facility) commenced in April 2019.[5]

The arena was constructed with approximately 270 tonnes of steel fabricated entirely in Victoria.[4] It is partially sunken into the ground and has an open-roof structure which provides shade and cover protection for most of the spectators seated in the arena.[4] Unlike the three larger venues at Melbourne Park (Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena and Margaret Court Arena), the arena does not have a retractable roof capable of being shut during inclement weather.[4] The arena's roof structure was completed in February 2021,[6] with the seating and interior facilities completed in October that year.[7] The arena was unveiled by Australian Open officials on 22 November 2021.[8][9] Belinda Bencic won the first main draw match to be played on the arena, defeating Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-3.[10]

Naming

During construction the venue was referred to by official sources as Show Court Arena.[6] In January 2021 the stadium was named Kia Arena, in a deal between the Australian Open and the tournament's primary corporate sponsor, Kia motors.[11] This differs from the three larger courts, two of which are named after prominent Australian tennis players and the other for a politician.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Melbourne Park To Remain Ultimate Sporting And Entertainment Precinct". Tennis Tour Talk. 23 April 2017. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Melbourne Park Redevelopment (Stage 3)". Development Victoria.
  3. ^ "Melbourne Park Map for the 2016 Australian Open" (PDF). tennisworld.net.au.
  4. ^ a b c d "Melbourne Park redevelopment continues as new Show Court reaches milestone". Austadiums. 2 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Final stage of $972 million upgrade to Melbourne Park underway". 9News.com.au. 3 April 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Melbourne Park Redevelopment - Show Court Arena". Development Victoria. YouTube. 1 February 2021.
  7. ^ Laurence Rosen (24 October 2021). "First look inside Melbourne Park's new 5000-seat show court this morning. Pictures don't do it justice. January is going to be amazing. #AusOpen". Twitter.
  8. ^ a b "Full crowds return for 2022 Australian Open as tickets go on sale". Austadiums. 22 November 2021.
  9. ^ "10-year redevelopment of Melbourne Park complete". Austadiums. 7 December 2021.
  10. ^ "Olympic champ Bencic into Melbourne round two despite Covid". News9Live. 18 January 2021.
  11. ^ "New Melbourne Park tennis venue unveiled as the Kia Arena". Australasian Leisure Management. 4 January 2021.