Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Melbourne Park is a part of the sporting and entertainment precinct that also includes Olympic Park and Yarra Park .
It is the home of the annual Australian Open tennis tournament, which is played each year in January and February. While it is best known for being a tennis venue, Melbourne Park also plays host to a number of other sports and musical events throughout the year. The venue tends to be used by more popular international performers, as it is the largest the city has to offer, excluding the Telstra Dome in the Docklands and the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground, which are both hugely expensive. Since its inception, Melbourne Park has played host to CÚline Dion and Neil Diamond, among many others. The Two Tribes dance and Livid alternative rock festivals are also held there annually.
Melbourne Park was built in 1988 as a new venue to host the Australian Open, as Kooyong, the previous venue, had become too small. It was originally known as the National Tennis Centre at Flinders Park until 1996, when then-Premier Jeff Kennett decided to rename it Melbourne Park, mainly to advertise the name "Melbourne" to a wide international audience. The decision was met with strong opposition, and was compared by some to renaming the Roland Garros stadium (home to the French Open in Paris) "Paris Park". However, over the years, it has grown to be accepted by the Melburnian community, and the name is rarely questioned now.
Melbourne Park is adjacent to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Yarra Park, and there are several pedestrian bridges linking the two across the separating railway lines. The park is five minutes walk from Richmond and Jolimont railway stations, and five minutes from the city centre by tram (route 70) or ten minutes by foot.
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