Serving In The rain? No Problem For The Australian Open

AO Open Press Release, December 1, 2017

While record rainfall is expected in Melbourne this weekend, Australian Open tennis fans can expect sunny and fine conditions for Australian Open 2018.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley and Chief Operations Officer Tom Larner were today joined by tournament meteorologist Bob Leighton to deliver the all-important long-range weather forecast for January.

“Today has been a reminder that the weather is unpredictable, with preparation and innovation being the key to running a world-class event,” Craig Tiley said.

“While we can’t control the weather, we are incredibly fortunate to be the only Grand Slam to have three retractable-roofed stadiums, which effectively ‘weatherproofs’ the Australian Open.

“Fans with tickets to Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena are guaranteed great tennis action no matter what’s happening with the weather, and the $49 ground pass provides access to Hisense Arena.

“Our commitment to increased shade on-site has also made the outdoor courts much more comfortable for fans over the summer.

“We are recognised worldwide for our state-of-the-art facilities. The ongoing redevelopment of Melbourne Park, thanks to the Victorian government, will ensure our players and fans have the best possible tennis experience,” Tiley continued.

Australian Open meteorologist Bob Leighton has good news for fans planning their trip to the tennis this year, with a favourable long-range forecast.

“Early predictions show that the weather will be mostly sunny and fine during Australian Open 2018,” Leighton said.

“Daily maximum temperatures for January are predicted to be around mid-20s, and there could be four or five days in the 30s, with the possibility of one to three days in the high 30s.

“There could be two or three days with some rainfall and a thunderstorm may be possible, but overall there will be more sunny days than wet ones,” Leighton continued.

The Melbourne Park redevelopment is tracking well for January, with Tom Larner providing an update on the infrastructure and changes for 2018.

“The Australian Open build is well underway and we are on track to have the site looking great for January,” Larner said.

“The cranes are coming down and the build on Grand Slam Oval will start next week. All the courts have been resurfaced and many of the grandstands and shade structures on the outside courts are in place.

“The new ramp from Garden Square to Rod Laver Arena has just been opened and will lead to an expanded concourse to help with traffic flow in this busy area. The southern pod at Rod Laver Arena is also now open for business with terrific new food and beverage outlets.”

Australian Open 2018 is set to soar to new heights this January, with more food and entertainment, and ramped up offerings for kids and families.

“While world-class tennis is at the heart of the Australian Open, we are also a leading sports and entertainment experience,” Tiley said.

“Yesterday we announced our biggest-ever music line-up for the AO Live Stage presenting more than two weeks of music with some of the best Australian and international music acts.”

New initiatives for AO 2018 include:

*       The popular AO Ballpark is back bigger and better, and features Disney, azipline and the return of LEGO and NERF zones

*       The biggest ever music line-up over 15 days on the AO Live Stage at Birrarung Marr with TLC, Client Liaison, Tina Arena, Illy and Hoodoo Gurus

*       Jimmy Barnes will headline a special FightMND charity concert on the eve of the Australian Open.

*       A full series of functions and special events to take place during qualifying week

*       Billie Jean King celebrates the 50th anniversary of her Australian Open win and is a special guest at the AO. She will also present the women’s trophy

*       More big food names than ever before with Rockpool Dining Group and Nobu pop-up restaurants on site.

*       Grand Slam Oval will also have Gazi, Mamasita, San Antone, Burger Project and Doughnut Time

*       AO Festival features Biggie Smalls, Gingerboy and Hunky Dory Fish & Chips

*       New state-of-the-art player hub, with unprecedented services on offer for the world’s best players

*       In an historic first Chinese fans will be able to book Australian Open tickets directly with one of China’s leading travel and tourism providers.

Australian Open weather fast facts:

*       Australian Open 2017 had a daily average maximum temperature of 26°C and averaged nine hours of sunshine each day

*       Australian Open 2009 was the warmest event on record, with the average daily maximum 34.7°C, nine degrees above normal

*       On 29 January 1963, 108mm of rain fell on Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, making it the wettest day in Australian Open history

*       Fans at Australian Open 2018 are expected to consume more than 150,000Haagen Dazs ice creams