Up to 30,000 fans a day will be able to attend the Australian Open, the Victorian sports minister announced. A daily capacity of 30,000 spectators will be allowed during the first eight days of the tournament, divided equally between day and night sessions.
It will then drop to 25,000 from the quarterfinals, half the average attendance of previous years. The Australian Open will be held February 8-21 in Melbourne.
“During the 14 days, it means that we will have up to 390,000 people here in Melbourne Park, about 50% of the average of the last years,” said Martin Pakula.
“The Rod Laver Arena will have an incredible atmosphere, not unlike what we have seen at all the Open in recent years.
“It won’t be the same … but it will be the most significant international event with crowds the world has seen in many, many months.”
Players have started to come out of hotel quarantine after completing their mandatory 14-day isolation period upon arrival in Australia.
In early January, more than 1,700 players, staff and others linked to the first Grand Slam of the year arrived in the country on chartered flights.
Most of the players were allowed out of their rooms for five hours a day to practice on the court and exercise, but a smaller group of 72 players were completely confined to their rooms after cases of coronavirus were discovered in your flights.
Melbourne endured one of the longest blackouts in the world last year and many locals are concerned about the potential Covid-19 risk posed by the tournament.