Planning to buy tickets for the Australian Open 2015?
Get the scoop on ticketing changes due to the Margaret Court Arena upgrade.
As an Australian Open Member I bought my tickets for 2015 in the Member pre-sale. Every year I have a plan for the tickets I want, based on prior knowledge of scheduling and where the best matches could potentially be played. But because no one can ever predict grand slam tennis or the order of play, clearly I win some and lose some with my strategy of buying tickets in advance in order to get good seats. Once I’ve bought the tickets I then wait until the schedulers “roll the dice” to see who ends up playing where. Due to this a lot of my tennis friends prefer to wait and see the schedule and then pounce on any tickets that are still available.
Anyways, not to digress about ticket buying strategies, the purpose of this article is to update you about ticketing changes for AO2015, which may have an impact on what tickets you decide to buy.
Margaret Court Arena (MCA) – Reserved Seats Only
Margaret Court arena was traditionally the best ticket in town for Ground Pass holders. As the number 3 court after Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, where the top seeds are generally scheduled to play, MCA gave Ground Passers access to the awesome tennis magic that often happens between lower ranked players at the Aus Open.
In previous years MCA had a “not before 7pm” night match that Ground Pass holders and After-5 Ground Passers could be guaranteed to see, provided they were happy to wait in the queue for seats. (Queuing was regularly experienced in 2014 due to the calibre of matches that were scheduled on MCA.)
Well, in 2015, everything changes.
For the 2015 Australian Open Margaret Court Arena will have 7300 fully ticketed seats for Day One to Eight (with Six Night Sessions) and will have a retractable roof.
Yep, you read correctly, MCA fully ticketed and with a roof. And yes, as a Melbourne local, I’m gloating a little about the 3, yes 3, courts with roofs that Melbourne Park will have to improve the fan experience. I look forward to the day when Roland Garros and the US Open have at least one court each with a roof, and Wimbledon, capital of rain delayed play, getting a second one!
What this means for fans is:
- The roof means that play will be guaranteed, even when it rains, and when the crazy hot conditions meet the “roof closing” criteria
- Everyone who wants to see a match on MCA will need a reserved seat ticket.
- There is a Day Session and a Night Session, with separate tickets for each. Single Session Tickets for Day or Night on MCA are $60 for adults if purchased before the tournament starts. (This is similar to the cost of Hisense Arena tickets in previous years, but Hisense only had a Night Session during the first Friday and Saturday of the tournament).
Hisense Arena (HA) – Access for Ground Pass Holders
In past years Hisense Arena was fully ticketed. Personally I love getting HA tickets but let’s be honest, it sometimes lacked atmosphere.
In 2015 there will be 9,500 general admission seats available to Ground Pass holders in Hisense Arena for the first eight days of the tournament.
As the number 2 court with a capacity of 10,500 (Rod Laver Arena has nearly 15,000) awesome matches can be played on Hisense Arena.
I think the ticketing change is a good thing because it was always frustrating to see the empty seats when I knew how many people outside would have loved to be able to come in a watch some (but not all, hello Simon v Monfils!) of the Hisense matches as they un-folded. And as HA has almost twice the capacity of the former MCA, more Ground Pass holders will be able to get seats.
Having said that, in the early Hisense years (back when it was called Vodafone Arena) there were Premium Reserved tickets available in the sections in the shade behind the baselines, and the other seats were available for ground pass holders. As someone who loved having a seat in Hisense, being able to roam around the grounds watching matches that I chose, and then go back to my seat when I wanted too, I haven’t been able to find out if any Reserved Seats will be available in HA, but if not I’d like to see them become available again in future years.
Until then, I’ve switched court allegiance and I’ll be in Margaret Court Arena during Week 1 of Aus Open 2015, in a shaded seat, looking forward to seeing how the scheduling pans out.
See you there?
Grand Slam Gal