Sydney Is Losing Its Competitiveness With Melbourne

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Apia International Sydney Tennis News

Gone are the days when Sydney rivaled Melbourne as the main tennis venue in Australia. Nowadays the total attendance for the Sydney International is expected to be only half the 100,000 that watched last week’s events in Brisbane and Perth.

Something clearly needed to be done for the New South Wales showpiece that until the turn of the century was held at the historic White City and since the Millennium has shifted to the Olympic site at Homebush.

The way forward for tennis venues in Australia is very clear; build a retractable roof and when the yellow, fluffy balls are not flying then use the transformed main playing arena as a multi-purpose facility suited to pop concerts or other big events. So Sydney is following the example of first Melbourne and spending US$ 35 million (Aus$50 million) on a roof for the Ken Rosewall Arena.

Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) and Tennis NSW have decided to do something about it, reaching out to other top line sporting organizations in the city such as Netball NSW and Basketball NSW.

The result is BVN Architects have been commissioned to design a roof for the 11,000-seater facility that was built at the tail end of the last century to stage the 2000 Olympic tennis competition.

“We looked at not just a closing roof for tennis, but actually what it would take to get it as a multi-purpose stadium,” said BVN Architects practice director Ross Seymour. “Once it has a roof you can take basketball and netball events. I believe there’s a lot of support from the potential users.

Netball, basketball and obviously Tennis NSW are behind this. It would take some support from the state government in terms of funding.”

Plans are still in the early stages but Seymour believes it could be up and running in time for the 2018 Sydney International.

“It’s a fairly efficient build compared to a new build,” Seymour said. “It could be achieved relatively quickly. I think it would be built in less than 12 months I would expect, but the design phase would push it out past next year’s tournament but it could definitely be ready in time for the 2018 tournament. It would bring the facility back up to an international benchmark level.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.