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Australian Open Capped At 50% Capacity Crowds


With the start of the 2022 Australian Open (AO) fast approaching, the Victorian Government has announced the event will be held at 50% of Melbourne Park’s capacity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While the government introduced the restrictions along with mandatory use of face masks for all attendees except when eating or drinking, the government has also said all purchased tickets will remain valid, with sessions that have already sold tickets above the new 50% capacity will be permitted to exceed the capacity.

The venue will also have high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters to be installed to improve ventilation in indoor areas, with a limit of one person per two square metres to apply at Melbourne Park.

Elsewhere, the Novak Djokovic visa saga is continuing, with the Australian Government Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, expected to announce his decision on the world no.1’s visa today.

If the Minister decides to cancel Djokovic’s visa and deport him for a minimum of three years, Djokovic will reportedly immediately appeal the decision at a Federal Court with the hopes of an expedited hearing over the weekend.

Tennis Australia, in waiting for the Federal Government’s decision on Djokovic’s availability for the event, delayed the release of the draw in hopes the Government would announce its decision by today at the latest.

In more Australian Open news, Tennis Australia has announced an expansion of its long-term broadcast partnership with beIN SPORTS, who will continue to broadcast the AO and its lead in events across South East Asia for at least the next five years.

The broadcaster will show more than 14 hours of live tennis each day on its linear sports channels and will also live stream main draw matches across 16 courts on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.

Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open tournament director, Craig Tiley, said: “As the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific, we are delighted to extend our agreement with beIN SPORTS to cover South East Asia, after years of successful collaboration with them in the Middle East and Northern Africa.”

“Our Asian fans treat the Australian Open as their ‘home’ Slam and so it’s fantastic that with beIN SPORTS’s innovation and commitment they will now be able to enjoy every main draw match from the AO live across every court here at Melbourne Park,” Tiley said.

beIN ASIA PACIFIC managing director, Mike Kerr, said the organisation is excited to expand into ten additional territories in South East Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“We’re delighted to have acquired the rights to the Australian Open and the Adelaide ATP 250 from 2022-2026 across our footprint in the Asia-Pacific region,” Kerr said.

“Tennis is a sport loved across Asia, and we are committed to delivering a strong tennis offering in this region.

“Our viewers can look forward to unparalleled access to the matches, off-court moments, player stories, and more across all screens.

“We look forward to working alongside Tennis Australia to bring in new audiences and increase fan engagement like never before,” he said.

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