Tennis Australia has launched a Aus$1bn (£546.9m/€624.5m/$767.2m) bid to secure control of Melbourne Park, the home of annual grand slam tournament the Australian Open.
The news was first reported by Australian newspaper the Herald Sun and includes management of the Park’s Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and Margaret Court Arena, as well as the surrounding precinct, on a 21-year lease.
The proposal is said to be under consideration by the Victorian state government and would include wider redevelopment of the Park with new entertainment options such as an outdoor cinema, retail outlets and restaurants with a view of the River Yarra.
Melbourne Park would also continue to be a hub for live music events, while Tennis Australia is said to be keen to rename Hisense Arena to Melbourne Arena.
“The Australian Open has grown massively over the past few years and we are now in the unique position of being able to use this experience to benefit the whole community,” Tennis Australia chief operations officer Tom Larner told the news.com.au website.
“Melbourne Park truly is the world’s best sports and entertainment precinct and our proposal will help bring it to life year round. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback and are strong in our belief that this is the way to go.
“We believe there’s enormous scope to activate the whole precinct throughout the year, creating great experiences and giving the community more reasons to come and enjoy the world-class facilities. And this in turn will generate a greater return for the taxpayer.”