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|
|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 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.
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 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 now use it for home games in the ANZ Championship.
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.
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.
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.
The Melbourne United is the home court of the National Basketball League (NBL). 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 empty outside of the two weeks of the Australian Open tennis tournament. The Dragons is founded in 2006 until withdrew from the competition after winning the championship in 2009, leaving the arena and the NBL. 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 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.
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.
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Media related to Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue at Wikimedia Commons
|UCI Track Cycling World Championships
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|UCI Track Cycling World Championships