Sports Venues - Rod Laver Arena
Tennis' biggest stars are in the land down under this week for the Australian Open. Find out about Rod Laver Arena, the venue that will host these matches!
Opening in 1988, the Rod Laver Arena was built on the National Tennis Centre complex in Melbourne, Australia. It was originally called the Centre Court, but it was renamed in 2000 after legendary Australian tennis player Rod Laver - who is the only player in history to win two Grand Slams. The arena is located at Melbourne Park and is just steps away from Melbourne's business District.
World Class Facility
The Rod Laver Arena is one spectacular facility. The first thing you notice is it's retractable roof. This roof comes in handy, especially when those 120 degree temperatures during the Australian Open get too hot to handle. It also makes the arena more versatile, in case they want to host a concert or other events when the weather is not permitting. There are plenty of luxurious boxes where the bigwigs can enjoy tennis matches. When the roof is open, fans can see Melbourne's amazing downtown skyline from a distance. The arena also looks amazing at night - with it's bright blue neon lights.
The Rod Laver has seen some incredible tennis players come through. Roger Federer has won three of the last four men's singles championships. This venue has seen women such as Martina Hingis, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf win three Australian Open titles at the Rod Laver Arena. Aside from tennis, it has featured the 2007 World Swimming Championship as well as supercross events. The arena has also played host to many world class entertainers. Artists such as U2, the Rolling Stones and Pavarotti have all performed at this venue.
- The Rod Laver Arena has a seating capacity of 15,000 for tennis and over 16,000 for concerts.
- The Rod Laver Arena attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year.
- The roof at Rod Laver Arena takes 15 minutes to close.
- Rod Laver Arena cost $94 million (AUD) to build.
- In 2008, new blue Plexicushion surface has replaced the old and famous Rebound Ace surface.