MELBOURNE — An expansive conference and events centre will open for
business in late 2021 in the heart of the city’s sports precinct,
Melbourne and Olympic Parks.
Called Centrepiece and already open for bookings, the three-level
venue flanks two of Melbourne’s iconic sporting venues — Rod Laver Area,
home to the Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam, and the Melbourne
Cricket Ground (MCG). Also part of the complex, AAMI Park hosts soccer
and rugby matches.
Since 1988, Melbourne Park — located on the banks of the Yarra River
and within walking distance of the Melbourne CBD — has been home to the
Australian Open, played each year in January.
“Not many cities can boast versatility and vitality quite like
Melbourne. From the fantastic blend of cultures to world-class luxury
CBD hotels, it has an atmosphere unlike any other and all located within
minutes of Centrepiece at Melbourne Park,” said Lara Burnes, general
manager Premier Events & Experiences.
The very first peek at Centrepiece will be at IBTM World Barcelona
from 1-3 December 2020, when the wraps will be taken off the venue’s key
features: a 2,000 sqm pillarless ballroom with 8.5m high ceilings and
operable walls for multiple configurations, an 800 sqm pre-function
space, and 15 breakout rooms, including an auditorium and broadcasting
Centrepiece is part of a multi-year A$972 million (US$692m)
redevelopment at Melbourne Park which includes a new 5,000-seat show
court tennis arena.
“Not only does our new venue have the flexibility to adapt for
sophisticated corporate functions, conferences and gala dinners, it will
also offer ‘money can’t buy’ experiences, where guests can enjoy the
precinct’s outdoor tennis facilities used for the Australian Open (AO)
Grand Slam,” Burnes added.
Level one at Centrepiece is a new public café and restaurant
available to be hired exclusively for events or to be used for social
events hosted in conjunction with a conference.
Level two, adjacent to Rod Laver Arena and the new show court, is
Centrepiece’s main ballroom, with pre-function space and an outdoor
terrace with views of the Melbourne CBD.
Level three houses breakout rooms designed for the international
media for the Australian Open Tennis. There are 10 studios that can seat
between 10-100 guests, a raked-floor auditorium seating up to 250
people and an additional five meeting rooms.
A key feature of Centrepiece will be its Paddock to Plate philosophy,
in which kitchen and culinary teams produce dishes using locally
sourced and seasonal produce, complemented with Victorian wines,
locally-brewed beers, small batch spirits and premium Melbourne-based
“International travel may be off the cards right now, but we are so
excited to open our doors to our Asia Pacific neighbours, with
Centrepiece at Melbourne Park now booking for late 2021 and beyond,”