Australia is home to the John Cain Arena, a multi-use sports and entertainment venue in the Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Victoria. It is the second-biggest venue (the first one is Rod Laver Arena) and show court for the Australian Open, which is the first Grand Slam tennis event of the year. Throughout the year, the arena also plays home to many other sports and entertainment events.
The arena has been called “The People’s Court” during Australian Open matches because it’s easy for people with a ground pass (the cheapest type of ticket) to get in and because fans are so close to the players.
John Cain Arena Street Map and View
John Cain Arena Capacity and Some Light on its History
The building started in the late 1990s and was finished in 2000. There is a cycle track in the arena, which is covered with seats for court games. From 2008 to 2019, the tennis court’s surface was Plexicushion. The roof can be pulled back, making it one of the few places where tennis can be played when it rains.
For events like shows where general floor seating or standing room is allowed, the venue has a maximum capacity of 11,000 spectators. The capacity is 10,500 for basketball, netball, and tennis. When the velodrome is in use, the northern and southern banks of seats that cover the turns are raised to show the track, and the floor seating is taken away, leaving a reduced capacity of 4,500 people.
After the A$363 million upgrade to Melbourne Park for the 2015 Australian Open, the retractable roof and increased capacity from 6,000 to 7,500 seats were added to the Margaret Court Arena. As a result, both Melbourne United (formerly the Melbourne Tigers) and the Melbourne Vixens announced they would be moving from the arena to the smaller Margaret Court Arena (MCA) from 2015.
However, Melbourne United gave up on moving to MCA after the 2015–16 NBL season and will continue to play their games at John Cain Arena. The Vixens, on the other hand, will continue to split their games between John Cain and Margaret Court Arenas, with John Cain being used for games that are likely to draw more fans.
How it found its Name
During construction, the project was called the Melbourne Park Multi-Purpose Venue. As soon as it opened in 2000, a sponsor was given the right to name it, and it became known as the Vodafone Arena. This deal was in place for eight years. It was revealed on May 12, 2008, that it would be renamed Hisense Arena. The deal, which was worth a lot of money, was meant to last for six years.
At the same time, the Hisense Arena went back to being called a “Multi Purpose Venue” for the length of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The name-giving deal with the global company Hisense was renewed for three more years in 2014. Even though the deal ended at the end of 2017, the venue was still called Hisense Arena for a few more months, pretty much for free.
Tennis Australia bought the naming rights to the arena in August 2018 and chose the name Melbourne Arena because it was “iconic with the city” and not a business name. The non-corporate name was only supposed to last for five years, but the Victorian Government and Tennis Australia didn’t rule out keeping the name of the arena after that.
Premier Daniel Andrews of Victoria stated on February 3, 2020, that the arena would be renamed “John Cain Arena” in honor of the late State Premier of Victoria, John Cain, Jr., who is seen as a key figure in keeping the Australian Open in Melbourne in the mid-1980s. From December 2020 on, the new name was used.
What Events do John Cain Arena Hosts
The venue holds a lot of tennis events every year as part of the Australian Open. In the first 10 days of the event, it was mostly only used for day games. There were night matches at the venue during the first week of the 2012 event. These matches happened at the same time as matches at the Rod Laver Arena, which was right next door.
The first Australian Open match was held on January 15, 2001, and it ended in less than ten minutes.
Other Sports Played on John Cain Arena:
- NBA and WNBA
- Commonwealth Games
- UCI Track Cycling World Championships, UCI World Cup and the Australian Madison Championships
- Ice hockey exhibition game between teams from the US and Canada
- Music and entertaining events like that of Westlife, Mayday, The X Factor