Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue

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Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue
Hisense Arena logo.svg
tennis court surrounded by stands filled with people
Arena in use during the 2006 Australian Open
Former names Vodafone Arena (until 2008)
Location Melbourne, Victoria
Coordinates 37°49′22″S 144°58′54″E / 37.82278°S 144.98167°E / -37.82278; 144.98167Coordinates: 37°49′22″S 144°58′54″E / 37.82278°S 144.98167°E / -37.82278; 144.98167
Owner Melbourne & Olympic Parks
Operator Melbourne & Olympic Parks
Capacity 10,500
Construction
Broke ground 1999
Opened 2000
Construction cost A$ 65 million[1]
Architect Peddle Thorp
Tenants
Melbourne United (NBL) (2000–2002, 2012–present)
Australian Open (Tennis) (2001–present)
South Dragons (NBL) (2006–2009)
Melbourne Vixens (ANZ Championship) (2008–present)
2004 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
2006 Commonwealth Games
2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships

The Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue, currently also known by its sponsorship name as Hisense Arena, is an Australian sports venue that is part of the National Tennis Centre at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria.

History[edit]

Construction of the arena, which has a maximum capacity of 11,000 people, commenced in the late 1990s, and was completed in 2000. It was originally called the Multi-Purpose Venue, until the naming rights were sold to Vodafone. The arena features a cycling track which is covered over with seating for court events. The tennis court is a Plexicushion surface and the roof is retractable, making it one of the few venues where tennis can be played during rain.

The South Dragons National Basketball League Australia (NBL) team had made the venue its home court. Formerly, the Victoria Titans and Melbourne Tigers used it as their home, until high rental prices forced the teams to find other venues. Until this move the venue was largely empty outside of the two weeks of the Australian Open tennis tournament. The Dragons withdrew from the competition after winning the championship in 2009, leaving the arena and the NBL.[2][3] For the 2012-13 NBL season, the Tigers returned to the venue, playing 7 of their 13 home games at the arena.

The arena has been used for netball from 1997 for Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels games in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy. Melbourne Phoenix and the Melbourne Kestrels played their last home game there before aligning to become the Melbourne Vixens who now use it for home games in the ANZ Championship.

The largest netball attendance at the arena was set on 20 November 2004 when 10,300 saw the Australian national team defeat New Zealand 53 to 51.[4] The largest basketball crowd was set on 18 October 2008 when 9,308 fans attended a local derby NBL game to see the Dragons defeat the Tigers 108 to 80.[5]

Following the renovation of the Margaret Court Arena as part of a A$363 million upgrade to Melbourne Park in time for the 2015 Australian Open, which includes a retractable roof and an increase in capacity from 6,000 to 7,500, both Melbourne United (formerly the Melbourne Tigers) and the Melbourne Vixens have announced their intentions to move from the arena to the smaller capacity Margaret Court Arena from 2015.

Sponsorship names[edit]

On 12 May 2008, it was announced that as of 1 July 2008, the arena's sponsorship name would change from Vodafone Arena to Hisense Arena in a multi-million dollar six-year deal.

Events[edit]

Australian Open[edit]

Every year, the venue hosts many matches as part of the Australian Open tennis tournament. It has usually only been used for day matches in the 10 days of the tournament. In 2012, however, the venue began having night matches in the first week of the tournament as well, running parallel to matches played on the centre court. The first Australian Open match to be played in the venue, on 15 January 2001, lasted less than ten minutes with Monica Seles advancing through the first round when Brie Rippner was injured in the second game of the match. The first match completed on the court was Tim Henman's first round win over Hicham Arazi.

Commonwealth Games[edit]

During the Commonwealth Games the stadium was used for basketball and other sports, its name changed to Multi-Purpose Venue with all Vodafone-related signs covered over with black shrouds because Telstra, a competitor of Vodafone, was a major sponsor of the games.

Cycling[edit]

In 2004 and 2012 the UCI Track Cycling World Championships were held at the venue.

Year Date
2004 26 to 30 May 2004
2012 4 April to 8 April 2012

The X Factor auditions[edit]

From 2011 to 2013 the venue hosted the Melbourne judges' audition stages of the Seven Network singer search program The X Factor.

Series Number Date
3 27 to 29 May 2011
4 3 to 5 May 2012
5 28 to 30 April 2013

Ice hockey[edit]

On 14 and 15 June 2013, the venue played host to an ice hockey exhibition series between teams representing the United States and Canada.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hisense Arena architect: Peter Brook
  2. ^ "aussiebball.com". aussiebball.com. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Netball: AUS v NZL". Austadiums. 2004-11-20. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  5. ^ "NBL: Dragons v Tigers". Austadiums. 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  6. ^ Showbiz Sport comes to Melbourne

External links[edit]

Media related to Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle
Stuttgart
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Venue

2004
Succeeded by
ADT Event Center
Los Angeles
Preceded by
Apeldoorn Omnisport Centre
Apeldoorn
UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Venue

2012
Succeeded by
Minsk-Arena
Minsk