Australian Open 2017 Hospitality Program (Invited)

Monday, August 15, 2016 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

Not long ago, I was invited to the launching party of Australian Open 2017 Hospitality Program at Margaret Court Arena. This event was hosted by the Open organiser to showcase the newly renovated Margaret Court Arena with its impressive electric roof. From the moment I walked in to the event I can see how prestigious and exciting is this launching parties with big corporate and media names being in the invite list.

Inside the arena, the court has been magically transformed into an amazing entertainment area. I walked down the stairs to the on court arena that has been divided into different sections to begin my journey.

There was a live music performance on the left side of the area accompanying about 200 people who attended the event. 

One thing that quickly grabbed my attention was the two shinning trophies of Norman Brookes and Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cups. I almost couldn't believe my eyes. As a huge tennis fan, seeing the actual trophies that have been passed on from champions is a sight to behold. Even better, I got to hold the trophy and took picture with it! It was a surreal experience! (I had to wear gloves to hold the trophy as I was advised that only champions are allowed to hold the trophies bare hand!)

Glancing to the next section of the arena, I caught a glimpse huge poster of young Rod Laver with few chairs in front. The area turns out to be one of the new exciting initiatives for next year's Open, the "On Side Court Seating". This is arguably the best seat in the house, you get to sit on the court where the photographers normally located. To make the experience even better, they provided us with a Galaxy Gear to witness last year's Men's semifinal, as is we were sitting there. I can tell you that it will be one of the most amazing experience in watching tennis! The 16 on side court seating will be available in the Rod Laver arena next year.

There were three food stalls in the arena, one western food, another one Asian food, and a dessert table in the middle. On the western stall, there were a number of varieties, such as mini burger, tacos, beef briskets, charcoal lamb and beef ribs, meatballs and grilled chicken.

Lamb and beef ribs are my favourite for the night. The meat is so tender and juicy, and the taste are fantastic. 

From the Asian food stall, they showcased a huge selections of dumplings, peking ducks, fried noodle, fried rice, and grilled salmon.

Grilled salmon is my favourite from the Asian food stalls. The salmon is so fresh and cooked perfectly, it melts my mouth. Overall, I prefer the Western selection as it offers richer and more punching flavours, as well as a huge selection of meat for different liking. They also provided a number of selections for desserts, from chocolate, mango, to churros. 

Before long, the main event began. It started with an announcement by the presenter who turns out to be the "voice" of the Open, he announces the players from behind the scene as they enter the scene in the tournament. He is very engaging and funny at the same time. The event started with a demonstration of the new electric roof which is the fastest in the world, it can open and close in around 5 minutes which is so impressive if you look at the size of it. It then continued to the history of Australian Open and Margaret Court Arena. The arena has been the icon of Australian Open for many years and home to many amazing matches in the past. 

The second half of the event continued with an interview with an Australian tennis champion, Casey Dellacqua. She shared her experience on playing around the world but always finds herself at home when playing in Australian Open. It has always been an amazing tournament for her and definitely her favourite grand slam of all.

The main event was then closed of with the presentation from the Australian Open Hospitality director. He showcased some amazing services that they can provide for corporate and private clients alike. Starting from seven different restaurants in the Open's vicinity to private glass box in Rod Laver arena, the only place where you can enjoy your food and drinks while watching tennis. 

I felt sad that the event was over so quickly, but overall it was a fantastic experience. For such a big and sophisticated event, it felt close to heart and personalised, which is what this is all about. Australian Open is about making you enjoy the best personal experience. To close off, of course they didn't want us to leave empty handed so they handed a gift bag for everyone! 

Margaret Court Arena
Melbourne Park, Batman Ave
Melbourne, VIC 3000