Melbourne Park Multi Purpose Venue

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Hisense Arena
Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue
Hisense Arena logo.svg
tennis court surrounded by stands filled with people
Hisense Arena in use during the 2006 Australian Open
Former names Vodafone Arena (until 2008), Melbourne Multi-Purpose Venue
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 Trust
Operator Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust
Capacity 10,500
Construction
Opened 2000
Construction cost A$ 65 million[1]
Architect Peddle Thorp
Tenants
Australian Open (Tennis) (2001–present)
Melbourne Tigers (NBL) (2000–2002, 2012-present)
Melbourne Vixens (ANZ Championship) (2008–present)
2004 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
2006 Commonwealth Games
2012 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
South Dragons (NBL) (2006–2009)

Hisense Arena is a sports venue that is part of the Melbourne Park complex, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The arena's current name was purchased in July 2008.

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 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 recent 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 will return to the venue, playing 7 of their 13 home games at the arena.

It has been used for netball since 1997 for Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels games in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy. The Melbourne Phoenix and Melbourne Kestrels played their last home game there before aligning to become the Melbourne Vixens. The Melbourne Vixens 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 Australia defeat New Zealand 53-51.[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 108-80.[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 the Melbourne Tigers and Melbourne Vixens have announced their intentions to move out of Hisense Arena and into the smaller capacity Margaret Court Arena from 2015.

Naming rights history[edit]

On 12 May 2008, it was announced that as of 1 July 2008, Vodafone Arena would be renamed Hisense Arena in a multi-million dollar six-year deal.

Events[edit]

Australian Open[edit]

Every year, the Multi Purpose Venue hosts many matches as part of the Australian Open tennis tournament. It is generally used only during the day, in the first week and a half of the tournament. However in 2012 the venue saw night matches in the first week of the tournament as well, running parallel to matches played on Centre Court. The first Australian Open match to be played in the Multi Purpose Venue, on 15 January 2001, lasted less than ten minutes, 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.

In 2004 and 2012, it played host to the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Year Date
2004 Wednesday May 26 to Sunday May 30 of 2004
2012 Wednesday April 4 to Sunday April 8 of 2012

Between 2011 and 2013, it played host to the Melbourne judges' audition stages of the Seven Network singer search programme The X Factor.

Series Number Date
3 Friday May 27 to Sunday May 29 of 2011
4 Thursday May 3 to Saturday May 5 of 2012
5 Sunday April 28 to Tuesday April 30 of 2013

International Ice Hockey[edit]

On 14 and 15 June 2013, the venue played host to an International Ice Hockey series between 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