Melbourne’s Hisense Arena will host Australian Open tennis action and an NBL basketball fixture during the same day next month, it has been announced.
Tennis Australia has partnered with the NBL on the initiative, which is said to mark a first for a grand slam.
NBL teams Melbourne United and the Cairns Taipans will take part in what has been dubbed the AO Game on January 24, during the second week of the Australian Open.
Adult fans will be able to attend both the Australian Open and the NBL game for a special price of Aus$60, with children’s tickets priced at Aus$10.
“This is a unique opportunity to showcase two of the world’s biggest sports in one location on one day and our fans are the big winners,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.
“Working with the NBL we have been able to schedule the AO Game in the second week of the Australian Open to give everyone a chance to enjoy both sports in the one precinct at great value. Combining two sports is a grand slam first and part of our commitment to bring more entertainment to what is already Australia’s biggest sporting event.”
NBL chief executive Jeremy Loeliger added: “We are excited to be part of Australia’s biggest sporting event and for fans to have the chance to watch world-class tennis and basketball on the same day.
“We are expecting the AO Game to be a sell-out so we urge fans to get their tickets quickly and come along and enjoy a great day at the tennis, followed by a night at the basketball.”
Hisense Arena is Melbourne United’s home ground, but the team had been due to play the Cairns game on January 14 at the State Netball and Hockey Centre on January 14 due to the unavailability of the former venue.
United’s game against the New Zealand Breakers on January 25 has also been moved to January 18.
United chief executive Vince Crivelli said: “I want to thank Tennis Australia and the NBL for the opportunity to be part of what should be a special event for the people of Melbourne. Our home court, Hisense Arena, opens up an extra 6,500 seats than a game at a smaller venue, so we can showcase our exciting sport to even more event lovers in January.”