Australian Open slapped with crowd cap

Victorian tennis fans have been dealt a huge blow, with crowds at the Australian Open set to be capped.

Crowds at Melbourne’s famed Australian Open are set to be slashed by a massive 50 per cent in a huge blow for tennis fans.

The Victorian government will enforce a limit on people attending the event, with crowds to be capped at 50 per cent under updated Covid restrictions.

People who have already bought tickets will still be able to attend but all further sales will be limited.

Masks will also be enforced except when eating and drinking once the event commences on January 17.

Victoria’s Tourism, Sport and Major Events Minister Jaala Pulford confirmed ticket sales would be paused once they reached the limit.

“These updates will mean that fans, players and the workforce can look forward to a terrific Covid-safe event in Australia’s event capital,” she said.

“Melbourne Park is the best place on the planet to watch the tennis and thousands of spectators will be able to experience the iconic Australian Open from Monday.”

There were 17,922 fans in attendance at Melbourne Park during the opening day last year, significantly less than the restricted 30,000 capacity and a far cry from the 64,387 that took in the action at Melbourne Park on the first Monday in 2020.

In January 2020, ahead of Australia being plunged into pandemic restrictions, the event attracted 812,714 spectators.

The new rules have been introduced to assist in limiting the spread of the current outbreak in Victoria, with a further 37,169 cases and 25 deaths reported on Thursday.

Ms Pulford said ventilation would be improved in indoor areas of Melbourne Park.

More to come.

Originally published as Australian Open crowds to be capped in huge blow for tournament

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