The Australian Open will allow up to 30,000 spectators to descend upon the Grand Slam in Melbourne, making it one of the largest gatherings of sports fans since the onset of COVID-19.
Martin Pakula, Victoria's sports minister, has confirmed that the tournament's COVID-safe plan will allow for up to 30,000 fans daily to watch the tournament live from the venue and 25,000 spectators from the quarter-finals onwards.
Speaking at a press conference at Melbourne Park Pakula told reporters: “It will not be the same as the last few years, but it will be the most significant international event with crowds that the world has seen for many, many months.”
The number of spectators represents around half of the usual capacity that is expected from the Grand Slam, which will be this years first.
Overseas players have been touching down in Australia since January 15, which has seen 72 players forced into a stricter isolation after passengers tested positive for COVID-19. Originally, plans were put in place to allow players to train minimally for the tournament and spending the remaining periods confined to their hotel rooms, however, these plans were scrapped following the possible transmission of the virus between passengers.
Author: Jake Wilkin