The Australian Open is in full swing, and the main focus so far has been on how unbearably miserable Bernard Tomic’s life seems to be. But Crikey has spotted another noteworthy point, away from the court: despite making hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year (and millions in profit), Tennis Australia is receiving millions in government grants.

In their annual report of their 2016-2017 financial report, Tennis Australia proudly mentions its revenue for the year was over $320 million, up from $284 million the previous year and $186 million in 2013. The breakdown of revenue sources is split between ticket sales (28%), sponsorship (27%), media rights (34%) and other (11%).

One of the items under “Other” is government grants.

The report reveals “The Group has been awarded government grants from the Australian Sports Commission (‘ASC’), Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development and Visit Victoria. One of the grants from the ASC relates to a sport grant and is dependent upon the Group supporting its sport development initiatives, including the implementation of recommendations arising from the High Performance Advisory Panel”.

In 2017, the group received $5.2 million from these sources, and in 2016, $5.4 million. We got curious and followed the reports back to 2008. And it’s roughly the same every year — Tennis Australia has received between roughly $4 million and $5.5 million in government grants totaling $48,973,782 since 2008. This figure is dwarfed by the $1.98 billion it has generated in revenue over the same period of time. The question must be asked — why does Tennis Australia need any government assistance at all?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey