Victorian minister responds to claims Melbourne is risking losing Australian Open

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Victorian minister responds to claims Melbourne is risking losing Australian Open

Minister of Police for Victoria Anthony Carbines insists the Australian Open is staying in Melbourne after tournament director Craig Tiley raised certain concerns this week. In an interview with the Herald Sun, Tiley revealed there have been talks about the Australian Open being relocated to another location - specifically Sydney or Shanghai.

Since Melbourne had the longest lockdowns during the pandemic, the Australian Open had limited crowds in 2021 and 2022. Tennis Australia had to use $80 million from its cash reserves for hosting the Australian Open in 2021 and 2022 and its pockets are basically empty.

Since 2009, the state of Victoria has invested $1 billion in helping the Australian Open.

Minister Corbines to Tiley: The Australian Open will always have our support

"The Australian Open is not going anywhere and the best thing Victorians can do is get out there and show their support.

We're not surprise that there will always be those seeking (the Open) from other countries and other states. With over a billion dollars invested by our government in the Australian Open, both in infrastructure and supporting that event, we'll continue to support the Australian Open and the team there in whatever they need," Carbines said, per the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

The remaining three Grand Slams - French Open, Wimbledon and US Open - have all made notable improvements in recent years. This week, Tiley insisted the Australian Open needs new investments, specifically a new Grandstand.

"We will always work closely with Aus Open organisers and given our track record of over a billion dollars, we'll always be open to what we need to do to stay clear of the pack internationally," Carbines added. Going into the 2023 Australian Open, there are two very positive things for the tournament organizers - there won't be a crowd limit and all top players are set to play, including record nine-time champion Novak Djokovic.

Australian Open Craig Tiley