Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue
Arena in use during the 2016 Australian Open
|Former names||Vodafone Arena (until 2008)|
|Owner||Melbourne & Olympic Parks|
|Operator||Melbourne & Olympic Parks|
10,500 (basketball / netball)
4,500 (Track cycling)
|Construction cost||A$ 65 million|
|Melbourne United (NBL) (2000–2002, 2012–present)
Australian Open (Tennis) (2001–present)
South Dragons (NBL) (2006–2009)
Melbourne Vixens (ANZ) (2008–2016), (NNL) (2017–)
Collingwood Magpies Netball (NNL) (2017–)
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.
Construction of the arena 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 arena is able to hold a maximum spectator capacity of 11,000 for events such as music concerts where general floor seating or standing room is available. For basketball and netball (with extra court side seating), capacity is 10,500 while for tennis (without the court side seating), capacity is 9,500. When the velodrome is in use the northern and southern banks of seats, which cover the turns of the velodrome, are raised to reveal the track while the floor seating is removed leaving a reduced capacity of 4,500.
The arena has been used for netball 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 merging to become the Melbourne Vixens who used it for home games in the ANZ Championship until 2016 and will (from 2017) continue to use the arena in the new Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) league. New SSN team the Collingwood Magpies have also played home games at Hisense Arena since 2017.
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 included 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 announced their intentions to move from the arena to the smaller capacity Margaret Court Arena from 2015. However, Melbourne United abandoned their move to MCA after the 2015–16 NBL season and will again play the majority of their games at Hisense (United will play games at the State Netball and Hockey Centre when the Australian Open takes place each January), while the Vixens will continue to split their games between Hisense and Margaret Court Arenas with Hisense used for games expected to attract a larger crowd.
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 multimillion-dollar six-year deal. In 2014 this was extended for a further three years.
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 at Rod Laver Arena. 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.
Hisense Arena is the main home court of National Basketball League (NBL) team Melbourne United. Formerly, the Victoria Titans and South Dragons used it as their home, until high rental prices forced the teams to find other venues. Until this move the venue was largely devoid of sporting events outside of the two weeks of the Australian Open tennis tournament held each January. The Dragons, founded in 2006 until they withdrew from the competition after winning the championship in 2009, played three seasons at the arena. For the 2012–13 NBL season, the Tigers returned to the venue, playing 7 of their 13 home games at the arena.
The largest basketball crowd was on 4 December 2016 during the 2016–17 NBL season when 10,300 fans saw Melbourne United defeat the New Zealand Breakers 98–74. This broke the previous basketball attendance record of 9,308 set in 2008 in a local derby game between the South Dragons and Melbourne Tigers.
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.
The X Factor auditions
Netball is played regularly at the venue. It is the home court to Melbourne Vixens and Collingwood Magpies in the Suncorp Super Netball competition. The Australian Diamonds sometime play home international fixture at the venue. The venue also hosted the 2016 Fast5 Netball World Series.
- Hisense Arena architect: Peter Brook
- "Netball: AUS v NZL". Austadiums. 2004-11-20. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
- Group, Hisense (25 August 2014). "Hisense Australia Extends Naming Rights to World Class Arena and Sponsorship with Australian Open". PR Newswire. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- "aussiebball.com". aussiebball.com. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
- [dead link]
- Austadiums - NBL: Melbourne vs New Zealand 2016
- "NBL: Dragons v Tigers". Austadiums. 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
- Showbiz Sport comes to Melbourne
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Media related to Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue at Wikimedia Commons
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