Once you’ve decided to attend a tennis tournament, choosing which tickets to buy can be one of the most stressful aspects. You want the right tickets for the right courts to see the right players on the right days. But of course this is impossible to predict in advance and we never know who ends up playing where until each day’s Order of Play is published. Although I can’t help with predicting the schedule for 2015 Australian Open, the info in this article will help you understand the different tickets that are available.
Please note that this article was written for Australian Open 2015 and ticketing has changed since. Read my 2017 Ticket Tips plus What’s New in 2017.
Australian Open tickets are easy to get and there are a lot available.
As I regularly get asked about which Australian Open tickets to buy, this article includes general info plus insights based on my personal experience of attending the Aus Open. It’s correct to the best of my knowledge but please note that things may be different in 2015.
Start by downloading the Aus Open Ticket Guide
Australian Open 2015 runs from Monday 19 January to Sunday 1 February.
For complete ticket costs and details, download the Aus Open Ticket Guide 2015
Also read the AO Ticket FAQ http://www.ausopen.com/tickets/tickets-faqs
Unlike aspects of the other grand slam tournaments, you don’t have to queue from the crack of dawn to get AO Ground Passes, there are loads available and they are great value.
Ground Pass Prices (sourced from the Ticket Guide 2015)
Ground Passes give you access to all courts except Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena, including the practice courts. From 2015 they include access to Hisense Arena.
- If you’re definitely planning to go to AO on a Ground Pass, buy your tickets before the tournament starts because they are $5 cheaper, as shown in the image above.
- The middle Saturday of the tournament is the busiest day and for this session ground passes have been sold out in advance but not on the other days (to the best of my knowledge anyway!)
- There is also an After 5 ground pass that is available after 5pm from Monday 19 to Saturday 24 January. It costs $10 less than the full price. This is a great option if you have other commitments during the day as there can still be loads of great tennis in play after 5pm.
- In my opinion all Australian Open ground passes are great value. Whatever time you decide to arrive at the grounds, if you plan you’ll get to watch loads of tennis, see top players on the practice courts, enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment and watch main court matches on the big screens. Check the schedule and matches in progress so you know which Court to head to when you arrive. The Australian Open App is a great resource for matches in progress and current scores, provided your internet access is strong enough to allow you to use it.
The downsides of a ground pass are that you don’t have an allocated seat at a court, you may need to queue to get a seat at the popular matches, and you may have to sit in the sun, which can be brutal. There are plenty of seats around the grounds if you want to have a break away from a court, and you can enjoy the air conditioned areas around the sides of Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena. (I’m guessing that there will be air conditioned spaces near the upgraded Margaret Court Arena now too.)
Australian Open allows pass outs from the grounds
The Australian Open allows pass outs so if you need to leave the grounds and want to come back in later, make sure you scan your ticket out when you leave.
2015 Ticket Prices
No.3 Court – Margaret Court Arena (MCA) – Fully reserved seating
Eight Day and six night sessions during day one to eight.
In previous years Margaret Court arena was the best ticket in town for Ground Pass holders. As the number three court after Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena, MCA gave Ground Passers access to the awesome tennis magic that often happens between lower ranked players at the Aus Open.
2015 will be the first year that MCA is fully ticketed and has a retractable roof.
Like Rod Laver Arena day sessions on MCA are likely to include three matches, and night sessions two matches. Note though that the scheduling is subject to change at any time.
As shown in the screen shots above, the pre-purchase ticket price for Adults for all sessions in MCA is $60. Whereas tickets for Rod Laver Arena start at $75 for Adults pre-purchase and the ticket price increases for each round.
In my opinion, MCA tickets are a great option.
For only $21 more than a Ground Pass during the first five days and day eight, you get an allocated seat (in the shade if you’ve selected that option) and you should get to see matches between the top name players. Plus you can access all the courts on the grounds other than Rod Laver Arena.
No.2 Court – Hisense Arena (HA) – Access for Ground Pass Holders
Matches are played in Hisense Arena for the first eight days of the tournament.
In past years Hisense Arena was fully ticketed. In 2015 there will be 9,500 general admission seats available to Ground Pass holders for the first eight days of the tournament.
No.1 Court – Rod Laver Arena (RLA) – Fully reserved seating
Day and Night Session for the first twelve days then it hosts the Women’s Final on Day 13 and Men’s Final on Day 14.
Upgrading a Ground Pass
There can still be RLA tickets available on the day of play. There are ticket sales booths in both arenas where you can find out what is available if you’d like to upgrade your ground pass. Friends regularly upgrade their tickets on the day once the schedule is known but availability of tickets will relate to the popularity of players in the scheduled matches.
Expect Australian Players to be scheduled on RLA
If you’re a first time visitor to Australia for AO, be aware that Australian players are likely to be scheduled on Rod Laver Arena, particularly during the night session, to suit the local TV audience. Also be aware that free-to-air TV is likely to cover the match that includes an Australian. This can mean that the high ranked player who you anticipated to be scheduled on RLA plays on Margaret Court Arena.
The top seeds are also likely to be scheduled to play on Rod Laver Arena, which is great if you have tickets and one of your goals is to see those players live. Often in the early rounds the matches played by top seeds can be one sided and over quite quickly. Then again, the unexpected upsets and big fiver setters can happen too.
Given the changes to ticketing in MCA and HA it will be interesting to see which matches are scheduled for which courts in 2015.
Become an Australian Open Member for early access to tickets
There are three levels of Australian Open membership that offer different levels of early access to tickets.
Member benefits include ground passes, access to the Members’ Lounge, a discount of merchandise and a member ballot for French Open, Wimbledon and US Open tickets.
I love my membership but over recent years it has become harder to get lower level seats in RLA with a Set (middle level) membership. There is currently a waitlist for Match Memberships and to stay on the list you need to renew your name each year.
Tour and Hospitality Packages
You can buy packages that include flights and accommodation along with your tickets. Scroll down the tickets page to find out about travel packages or check out the luxury packages offered by Grand Slam Tennis Tours.
Which seats to choose
Melbourne weather can get really (really!) hot during the Australian Open. When buying tickets for both RLA and Margaret Court Arenas, once you’ve selected which session you would like tickets for, you can select Best Available or Best Available in Sun Viewing or Shade Viewing. 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.
Generally the seats behind the ends of the court are shaded, along wtih the seats in the back rows which are covered by the edges of the roof. The shaded areas along the sides of the court move as the sun moves during the day. On hot days even the areas of shaded seats can get stuffy and uncomfortable because it’s hard to keep cool air circulating in such a big area while the hot sun shines down through the open roof.
As well as being shaded choosing a seat at the end of the court can help to avoid “tennis neck” which can be experienced after a day of sitting on the sides of the court and moving your head from side to side to follow the ball (or maybe that’s just me!). If you choose a seat close to the side of court on the side with the umpire’s chair some of your view might be obscured by the chair.
Be prepared for hot weather
Although it can get extremely hot, the Australian Open organisers do everything they can to help spectators stay cool. There are covered areas around the grounds where you can take a break from the heat, along with big cooling fans and free water stations where you can refill your water bottles.
Whatever ticket you buy, be prepared for the Australian sun. Wear long clothes, sunglasses and a hat, apply sunscreen and keep it handy and have a water bottle that you can refill as needed.
Bring supplies with you
The Australian Open allows you to bring food and drinks in to the grounds. It can be a long day when plays goes late into the night so come prepared with enough supplies, or money to buy them from the food and drink vendors located around the grounds.
For good spectator etiquette your bag should be able to fit neatly under your seat so that it’s easy for people to get past when moving to and from their seats.
Note that alcohol, glass, containers larger than 1.5 litres and the other items listed below will not be allowed in to the grounds.
In 2014 the Australian Open 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.
Do you have other tips for people buying Australian Open tickets? Please let us know in the comments below.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal