Memorial Drive Redevelopment

October 16, 2019

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (15:35): I rise today to speak about the Memorial Drive redevelopment and Adelaide International. If you have driven past Memorial Drive recently, you will notice that there have been some exciting changes for tennis in South Australia. These changes include the construction of a spectacular canopy roof over a refurbished International Tennis Federation-standard centre court. The redevelopment also includes a new sunken show court, six new match courts, a tennis pavilion, a national academy training venue, and many other improved facilities and amenities.

 

I recently had the pleasure of touring the development site and meeting Mr Lynton Franzi, manager of major projects for Tennis Australia. Lynton is currently leading a dedicated team of professionals to complete the construction of the canopy roof over the centre court near Adelaide Oval. Following the installation of the fourth supporting beam earlier this week, Lynton and his team are well on track to completing the roof early in December. Lynton has had extensive involvement in the sport of tennis throughout his whole life and his passion for the sport is undeniable. I commend him for his dedicated service and for his outstanding efforts in his current role as project director.

 

The redevelopment has ensured that South Australia is a key player in the tennis world. With state-of-the-art facilities, it is no wonder that Adelaide will play host to the world's top tennis stars in 2020 during the Adelaide International, our first international tennis tournament since 2008. The week-long combined WTA and ATP tournament will commence on Sunday 12 January and it will be held for the next five years. This is fantastic news for our state and I am excited to see what this will bring to South Australia's tourism and economy.

 

It is estimated that over 100 of the world's best players will be competing in the Adelaide International for $2 million in prize money and international ranking points. The event will also be televised to a global audience across 200 countries. It is fantastic that South Australia will be centre stage to show the world what we have to offer.

 

This event will go down in South Australia's history, as it will be the first time we have hosted a Women's Tennis Association tournament. Tennis Australia CEO, Mr Craig Tiley, has estimated that approximately 29 of the top women's players will be attending, claiming there will be no other women's events in the world that will have that strength other than the grand slams. Current number one, Ash Barty, has recently announced that she will be playing in the Adelaide International in 2020. Ash will also be playing alongside two-time grand slam title winner, Simona Halep. This is a fantastic opportunity for our aspiring female tennis players in South Australia to see their idols up close and personal.

 

Memorial Drive has a rich tennis history, hosting major events such as the Davis Cup and Australian Open Championships. The redevelopment of Memorial Drive is imperative to the future of tennis in South Australia. Providing three of the world's grand slam court surfaces—clay, grass and hard court—Memorial Drive will be one of the leading practice bases for Australia's tennis elite and for our budding tennis stars.

 

Adelaide-born Lleyton Hewitt has expressed his excitement for the opportunity this redevelopment will present for our young people. Lleyton famously won the former Adelaide International in 1998 when he was just 16 years old. I have no doubt that Adelaide will continue to produce tennis superstars due to the improvements of Memorial Drive. I look forward to the continuation of tennis history in South Australia and I eagerly await the further announcements of famous tennis players who will grace our courts next year.

 

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