New figures reveal the 2014 Australian Open provided economic benefits to Victoria worth $245.5 million, up from $239m in 2012. It's these figures which persuaded the state's Labor Government to not only protect its major events calendar, but expand it.
We're transforming Rod Laver Arena to ensure we can continue to attract the biggest and best in sports and events in the world, which creates jobs and helps keep our economy strong. - Minister for Tourism and Major Events - John Eren.
Redevelopment of the 27-year old venue will allow increased capacity for the likes of NHL hockey and US basketball as well as concerts. "We are looking at all options. We like a lot of those events [such NBA and the NHL] that people love and we want to ensure we get those events."
The $338 million second stage of the redevelopment includes:
- a newly-designed southern annex to to become the main entrance to the arena: a more efficient loading bay will mean shows can bump in and out faster, ensuring Rod Laver Arena can host the biggest acts in the world
- improved dining: a wider variety of options and new outlets will mean guests no longer have to go back to the concourse to buy food and drinks
- a pedestrian bridge over Batman Avenue to Federation Square and Flinders St Station
- an eight-storey building to house media and staff
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, said that the contract is due to be awarded by October. with works planned to begin after the 2016 Grand Slam in February. The modernised complex will remain open until the completion of the works in 2020.
The building contractors shortlisted are:
- Brookfield Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd
- Built Pty Ltd
- Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd
- Lend Lease Building Contractors Pty Ltd
With international sport lured to the upgraded facilities, the home of the Australian Open promises great opportunities for the construction industry.
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