Hisense Arena, one of the main venues used to stage the Australian Open tennis tournament, is to change its name to Melbourne Arena, it was announced today (Tuesday).

Tennis Australia has secured naming rights to the venue as part of a five-year deal. Chinese consumer electronics company Hisense had held the naming rights since 2008.

The arena has a capacity of 9,500 for tennis events and is the second largest Australian Open venue after the 15,000-seat Rod Laver Arena.

The newly-named Melbourne Arena is affectionately known as The People’s Court and Tennis Australia said the rebrand is a tribute to the fans who attend the Australian Open year on year.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said: “We know the world’s top players love coming to Melbourne and thrive on the atmosphere of this arena during the Australian Open. This is a testament to the fans who turn out every year to cheer on their heroes.

“What a great way to pay homage to the Melbourne sports and entertainment fan – renowned globally for their knowledge and passion.”

John Eren, Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, added: “Since 2000 this fantastic venue has hosted headline acts from the Australian Open to The Killers. It’s fantastic to now see the sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne up in lights for the world to see,” Minister Eren said.

“We’re proud to work with our precinct partners like Tennis Australia to ensure Victoria’s major venues like Melbourne Park maintain their edge and continue to serve up the world’s best sport and entertainment.”

As well as hosting tennis matches, the arena stages Melbourne United and Melbourne Vixens basketball games. At this year’s Australian Open back in January, the arena hosted tennis action and a Melbourne United match on the same day, which marked a first for a grand slam. Tiley said efforts are being made for a similar initiative at the 2019 Australian Open.

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