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Australian Open 2017: What’s on in Melbourne

As Official Partner of Australian Open 2017, AccorHotels has the inside word to help plan your trip to Melbourne so you don’t miss a second of the action!

The Australian Open has the largest footprint of any of the Grand Slams and the biggest party atmosphere. Get your ticket and head to the centre of the action with our guide to what’s going on this January.

The Tournament

If you’ve not yet visited Melbourne during the Australian Open you’re in for a treat. Affectionately called ‘the happy slam’ by Roger Federer, the Aussie Open is as much a festive party as it is an international sporting event. Whether you’re visiting as a tennis fanatic, or don’t know your serve from your volley, you’re bound to have bundles of fun. Here’s what you need to know:
Dates: Play begins on Monday the 16th January and ends on the 29th. You might hear people referring to first week (16th-20th), middle weekend (21st-22nd), second week, (23rd-27th) and finals weekend (28th-29th). 
Tournaments: The men’s and women’s singles tournaments are the most well-known, but there are also men’s, women’s and mixed doubles, junior titles and wheelchair competitions to watch. 
The Grounds: Melbourne Park has three large arenas and lots of smaller courts where you can watch the action unfold. Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena are the two main courts and host all the big names, while Hisense Arena or ‘The People’s Court’ is the spot to really feel the party atmosphere and get behind your favourite player.
Price: The further into the tournament, the higher the ticket prices for the arena courts. A ticket to a match at Rod Laver will cost $77 (morning or afternoon session) on the first day of play, and $403+ for the final. A grounds pass is $40 during the first week, $55 during middle weekend, and considerably less in the second week of play as there are fewer matches to see on the outdoor courts.

Australian Open 2017 will have a pumping party vibe, and with so many attractions beside the tennis, you’re bound to find something that hits the mark for all ages, budgets and interests, even if sport isn’t ‘your thing’. Here’s a few to get the ideas flowing:

Kids Tennis Day: 14th Jan

Kids Tennis Day is a completely free event that the whole family can enjoy. Think balloons, face painting and fun competitions for the kids. The highlight of the day is the Rod Laver Arena Spectacular, where the world’s best tennis stars and kids’ favourite characters take to the court for a crazy tennis game you’ll never forget.

Australian Open Festival

2016 was the first year the tournament hosted major events outside of the Melbourne Park complex. Birrarung Marr, sandwiched between the north bank of the Yarra and the CBD, is Melbourne’s newest major park. The area hosts many of the city’s festivals and events, and now the Australian Open Festival is no exception. 
The lower terrace forms part of the new major entry to the Australian Open.  With a ‘Get fan ready’ theme you can expect face painting, social media and other fun activities to get you ready for your day at the tennis.
The Upper Terrace will be the place to be from late afternoon when the festival bars and restaurants come to life with plenty of big screen tennis action.

The Open Sessions

Historically hosted at Grand Slam Oval inside Melbourne Park, The Open Sessions has this year moved to the middle terrace at Birrarung Marr and will run from Saturday 14th to Sunday 22nd January. There’s set to be an atmosphere like never seen before, with more music and entertainment in this exciting new space. Expect a solid line up on the main stage, with bigger artists and even bigger crowds than we’ve seen before.
The Open Sessions will require a ground pass throughout the tournament, but snagging a spot on the weekend before play is free.

The Ballpark

In between Rod Laver Arena and the practice courts will be The Ballpark, designed and built with kids’ entertainment in mind. With mini tennis courts, a Lego construction zone, NERF blaster challenge and a themed adventure park, the little monkeys can really let loose.

Megex

Hisense Arena will play host to an e-gaming extravaganza from 25-26th January, in which all the pros will gather to play and compete under the one roof. New titles, signing areas, pro gamers and tennis heroes will gather in a celebration of the event, with a little tennis thrown in for good measure.

Federation Square

During Australian Open 2017 you’ll find tennis fun at Federation Square too. As you exit Flinders Street Station you’ll be greeted by a taste of the Australian Open with transport to the heart of the action and a chance to grab tickets to upcoming matches.

Grand Slam Oval

When you’ve grabbed your tickets and are heading into the Australian Open complex, check out the transformation of the Grand Slam Oval, right between Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena. Divided into themes to represent the host countries of each Grand Slam, France, USA, England and Australia, hang out in the zone that has your kind of vibe.  

Getting There

If you have a valid open ticket you can hop on a tram from the city free of charge. From Flinders Street Station, Birrarung Marr is around a 5 minute walk. What’s great for fans this year is a brand new grand entrance and pedestrian bridge, meaning the site is better connected to the city than ever before.

Booking Your Stay

Last year’s tournament drew crowds of over 700,000 people, and this year’s Open is set to smash that record. 

Competition for Melbourne hotels is fierce during this time, so booking early is your best chance of serving up a winner. With multiple hotels within walking distance to all the action, click here to check your dates with our full list of Accor Hotels in Melbourne.

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