Planning to go to the Australian Open? Find out about the different ticket options that are available.
Please note that this article was written in 2014 and ticketing has since changed a lot. Read what’s new in 2017.
One of the things I love most about the Australian Open is the availability of tickets. With so many different options to choose from, here are some tips to help you decide which ones to buy.
The information is correct to the best of my knowledge based on previous years but be aware that the Australian Open changes things every year. Plus we all know how hard it is to predict a Grand Slam schedule so anything could happen in 2014!
All prices listed are in Australian Dollars (AUD).
Rod Laver Arena (RLA)
This arena was named after Australian player Rod Laver, who is the only tennis player to win all four grand slam singles titles in the same year twice. He accomplished the grand slam in 1962 and 1969 and has also won 200 singles titles, the highest in the history of tennis.
RLA is the Centre Court and has nearly 15,000 seats. It has a roof so if it rains play is only delayed by the 20 minutes or so that it takes to close the roof, plus the time required to dry the court.
In my opinion there are no bad seats in RLA. Even the back rows have a good view of the court and the big screens. Very few of the seats have their view impaired by stair-wells or other stationary objects. (The seats in row AA and BB in the upper level may have a slight obscurement by stair-wells).
Generally the top seeds play on Rod Laver Arena in the early rounds. This makes it a good choice if you want to see the top seeds, but often these matches can be one sided and over pretty fast.
Along with the top seeds, Australian players in the singles draw are often scheduled to play on RLA, especially in the evenings for the Australian TV audience. Again, this is great if you want to see Australian players. But if you don’t, you might prefer Hisense Arena tickets during the first eight days, which are great value (see below under Hisense Arena).
All seats in RLA have allocated tickets. Prices increase each round, starting at $69.90 for adults for a 1st Round Session and going up to $389.90 for the men’s final.
The RLA schedule is split into a Day Session and a Night Session. You need a separate ticket for each.
In 2013 up until the end of the 4th Round, which is played on the second Monday, there were three singles matches in the day session (often one men’s and two ladies matches but sometimes two men’s and one ladies) and a men’s and ladies singles in the night session.
All quarter-final and semi-final matches are played in RLA.
More information on Rod Laver Arena
Phone Charging Tip
There are power points along the inside walls of RLA and Hisense Arenas where you can charge your phone (and enjoy the air conditioning). Between matches and at a change of ends this can be more difficult than other times due to the crowds of people moving to and from their seats.
Hisense Arena is the number two court. Like Rod Laver Arena it also has a roof, so play continues once the roof is closed if it rains.
Hisense Arena has a capacity of about 10,500.
Matches are played on Hisense Arena until the end of the 4th Round, on the second Monday of the tournament.
Hisense Arena Tickets
All seats in Hisense Arena have allocated tickets. The adult ticket price is $59.90 for every session (pre-purchase).
Hisense Arena Scheduling
In 2012 there were two men’s and two women’s singles matches scheduled for each of the first four days. In my opinion that’s great value for the price. If the matches are long, play continues into the evening so you get a lot of tennis for your dollar.
On the Friday and Saturday there is both a day and night session (for all other days there is only a day session) so you’ll probably see less tennis during these day sessions because play needs to be finished in time for the night crowd to take their seats.
Although you’ll probably see fewer matches in Hisense Arena for Round 3 (the middle Friday and Saturday) and Round 4 (the middle Sunday and Monday) compared to Rounds 1 and 2, these are my favourite tickets due to the quality matches that you’re likely to see. However one downside of Hisense Arena compared to Rod Laver Arena can be the lack of atmosphere if the matches don’t attract a big crowd.
Comparing the costs for a Day 7 (middle Sunday) Ticket:
- Hisense Arena $59.90 (pre purchase) – in 2013 there were two doubles, one mens and one women’s match
- Rod Laver Arena $129.90 (day or night session) – in 2013 Day sessions were two women’s and one mens match, night session was one women’s and one mens match
- Ground Pass $49 – The GP covers access to all other courts. In 2013 on Day 7 the matches were Doubles, Junior Boys and Girls matches and a mens singles match as the evening feature on MCA. The price of Ground Passes for the middle weekend in 2014 is higher than previous years due to the popularity of the event.
There are TVs at the doors to Rod Laver and Hisense Arenas so you can keep up with the match while you’re waiting for a change of ends to get back to your seat. If you’ve ever been to the French Open, you’ll know how great this is!
Seat Selection Tip
It can get really hot during the Australian Open. When buying tickets for both RLA and Hisense Arenas you can select Best Available or Best Available in Sun or Shade. Shade is a good option, however these tickets are popular so can sell out quickly, and shaded areas are subject to the weather conditions on the day.
Also note that the view from some of the shaded seats might be restricted if the player is behind the baseline.
Margaret Court Arena (MCA)
MCA is the Australian Open’s number three court. You can get access to MCA with your ground pass.
MCA has a capacity of 6,000 and in 2015 this will be expanded to 7500 and MCA will also have a roof.
During the first eight days of the Australian Open a night session is added to MCA with a match that doesn’t start before 7.30pm. If you’re there during the day you can stay on for this match. If you enter via an After 5pm Ground Pass then the MCA night match is scheduled so that you can watch it.
MCA Top Tips
There are a limited number of covered seats in MCA so if it’s a hot day and you want to see one of the matches scheduled to be played there then it’s advisable to arrive early to get a covered seat and keep your seats for the day. (Note – this tip is based on previous years but now that the roof is being built there will probably be way more shaded seats available in 2014. I’ll let you know once I’ve been there.)
Tip About Leaving the Grounds
The Australian Open allows pass outs so if you need to leave the grounds and want to come back in later, just make sure you scan your ticket out when you leave.
Ground Pass prices for tickets purchased before 13 January 2014:
- $34 for Day 1 to 5
- $49 for Day 6 and 7
- $34 for Day 8, 9 and 10
- $24 for Day 11 to 14.
A fee of $5 is incurred for tickets purchased after 13 January.
An After 5 Ground Pass costs $25 for Monday 13 to Saturday 18 January 2014.
Ground Pass Tip
Ground passes have been sold out in advance for the middle Saturday of the AO but on the other days you can buy a ground pass at the gate, which gives you access to all courts except Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena.
Australian Open Ground Passes are awesome because:
- Unlike Wimbledon, you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, or camp out overnight, to queue for them
- Unlike the French Open, there are loads available, so other than the middle Saturday you can rock up on the day and buy one
- Unlike the US Open, they are great value for only $34 for the first five days (from memory US Open GP’s are around twice as much).
As mentioned above, Ground Pass access includes Margaret Court Arena (MCA), which has 6,000 seats.
All ticket holders, including Ground Passes, are able to see players practicing. Find out more about the practice courts.
A ground pass gives you access to see the top bands that play every night. If you want to go sight seeing during the day (or have a break from the heat) try an After 5 Ground Pass and as the name suggests, enter after 5pm.
Premium Court Side Seats
If you’re like me, the quality of your seats makes the world of difference to your grand slam experience. Being closer to the court means you get a better view.
As an official tour operator, Grand Slam Tennis Tours offers the best courtside seats in both Rod Laver and HiSense Arenas guaranteeing you an unforgettable tennis experience. Find out more about Visiting the Australian Open in Style on a Grand Slam Tennis Tour.
If you’re interested in Australian Open Hospitality options, there is information here.
In 2014 the Australian Open has introduced an official Fan Marketplace where you can securely buy and sell tickets. The site is 100% guaranteed and it’s free to list your tickets if you have some that you can’t use.
Visit the Australian Open website to find out how to book tickets.
What other tips do you have for buying Australian Open tickets?
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
Thank you for this – I found it really useful! Very comprehensive.
I like Hisense in the first few days. I have been disappointed that in recent years they tend to play two womens and one mens match on RLA when they used to have two mens matches. If they get rain in the first week there is even more tennis on Hisense because they go into the night bringing matches in from outside.
One important thing about the Australian Open and I am not sure how long they will continue this for is every seat for the same court is the same price, whether you be in the back row or front row.
Personally I like to be right down the front on the Eastern side (opposite the umpires chair). But a word of warning, it is probably the hottest part of the court. Right down the front you get very little breeze and there is a lot of reflective heat off a court which is basically rubberised concrete.