SPORT

Jan 15, 2014

Open for debate? Taxpayers’ big investment in a fortnight of tennis

The Australian Open costs taxpayers millions to keep in Melbourne, but is it money well spent? Crikey intern Broede Carmody reports.

Taxpayers are generously funding hundreds of games of tennis in Melbourne over the next fortnight. But unlike with the Grand Prix and some other sporting fixtures, nobody seems to mind.

The Victorian government has helped build arguably the best big-match tennis facility in the world, with hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the precinct. It’s announced a further $338 million for a new stage of works, and a third stage is unfunded but on the drawing board. The government says the investment is needed to ward off other cities poaching the Australian Open.

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6 comments

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6 thoughts on “Open for debate? Taxpayers’ big investment in a fortnight of tennis

  1. Chalkie Kev

    If they keep playing in heatwaves, there’s going to be a dead/seriously injured tennis player/official – and pressure to forget about Melbourne as an “Open” venue. The balance sheet probably won’t look as good if that happens.

  2. Reechard

    Ah, but for all those (What %age, by the way?) who “Luv sport” it is other’s money well spent.
    Forget the toher many things it could have been used for. Or not.. Like reducing the Land Tax grab or the ‘Stamp’ theft on property purchases, for instance.

  3. Reechard

    Ah, but for all those (What %age, by the way?) who “Luv sport” it is other’s money well spent.
    Forget the other many things it could have been used for. Or not.. Like reducing the Land Tax grab or the ‘Stamp’ theft on property purchases, for instance.

  4. Peter Goad

    This article misrepresents the financial and economic effects of the F1 grand prix. The 2013 annual report of the Austraian Grand Prix Corporation (page 46, Revenue and Expenses table)shows that the Corporation spent $98.4m to stage the 2013 event and received revenue (excluding govt. contributions)from ticket sales and sponsorship of $38.8m.
    This indicates an operating loss of $59.6m.
    A cost benefit analysis of the event caried out by Rod Campbell of Economist at Large showed that it produced an economic loss of $54.3m.

  5. Pointy Hatted Party Monster

    I think one of the important differences between the tennis and the Grand Prix is that the Australian Open doesn’t shut down a suburb for four months every year. People do mind the loss of public amenity involved in staging the Grand Prix in Albert Park, whereas the tennis takes place in a purpose-built sports venue with easy access to public transport and the city.

  6. CML

    Who on earth would want to visit Melbourne, with or without the Oz Open, when temps are well above 40C.
    With players being injured and falling like flies, where is the incentive for the players or spectators?
    For heaven sake, why doesn’t somebody in the tennis hierarchy grow a brain and shift the event to autumn or spring? There are only four grand slams for the year, so that leaves plenty of time to schedule them when the climate suits the venue.
    Holding the Oz open in January is about as suitable as playing Wimbledon in January would be.

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