With attendance at this year’s Australian Open expected to break the 2016 record of 720,363 people, Victorians will continue to enjoy the economic benefits of this major international sporting event according to Deakin University economics Professor Nejat Anbarci.
“The Australian Open is one of the most economically successful sports endeavours in the world and rightly reinforces Victoria’s claim to the title of sporting capital of the world,” Professor Anbarci said.
Based on figures from a 2016 report released by Tennis Australia, Professor Anbarci said the reported $278.1million injection into the Victorian economy last year is a sizeable return on investment.
“If we consider that the monetary costs of setting up the Rod Laver/Melbourne Park venue since the Australia Open moved from Kooyong in 1987 would sit at around $1billion, the tournament is making an annual return of around 27.8 per cent,” he explained.
“With minimal outlay on running the event itself, with people who work for the tournament mostly volunteers and the prize money for winning playing comes from sponsors, the investment has been money well spent.”
If 2017 follows the pattern of 2016, Melbourne will also benefit from the influx of tourists, Professor Anbarci said.
“For example, in 2016 about half of attendees were from outside Melbourne, with 26 per cent from interstate and 13 per cent from overseas. A reported 513,882 hotel room nights were booked, with visitors staying an average of 5.11 nights. Overall the average daily spend was $181.”
Professor Anbarci said that among the great benefits of the Australian Open are ones that do not come with a tangible dollar sign.
“Apart from the enjoyment of attending the tournament itself, the implicit benefits for Victorians involve the positive sentiments and pride from hosting the tournament, with more than 98 per cent of all Victorian residents interviewed for the Tennis Australia report saying that it is either very important or important for Victoria to host the Australian Open each year.”