Melbourne Park was officially opened in 1988, with the first tennis ball hit in January at the Australian Open.
Previously known as 'Flinders Park' or the 'National Tennis Centre', Melbourne Park's primary arena (Centre Court) was renamed Rod Laver Arena in 2000, in recognition of Rod Laver's remarkable tennis career.
In terms of sport, tennis has brought worldwide recognition for the venue. The Australian Open, one of only four annual Grand Slam Tournaments, has been held every year at Melbourne Park since 1988.
The courts were resurfaced prior to the 2008 Australian Open, the blue Plexicushion surface giving Melbourne Park a fresh new look. This coincided with a spike in attendances (just over 600,000), which has continued to grow with a record 686,006 attending the 2012 tournament, including the Grand Slam one day record of 80,649 for the 6th day (Heineken Saturday).
Best of all, the general public can play on the same courts graced by the World's best, take a tour of Rod Laver Arena and wander through Garden Square.
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