Who is John Cain of John Cain Arena?

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Australian Open regulars have seen their beloved Ground Pass Entry arena change naming rights over the years – still commonly being referred to as Hisense or even Vodafone Arena, and most recently known as Melbourne Arena before the current name change to John Cain Arena.

Out of the three big arenas at Melbourne Park; Rod Laver Arena (RLA), Margaret Court Arena (MCA), the third but arguably the most loved (by Nick Kyrgios at least) seems to endure all the name changes. 

Amidst of date changes over the years, there’s one question that some Australian Open goers and tennis fans (particularly the younger generations) are asking… who is John Cain of John Cain Arena? 

Who is John Cain of John Cain Arena?

So who is John Cain and what is his relevance with tennis, Melbourne and the Australian Open?!

Born and bred Victorian (born in 1931), John Cain was the 41st Premier of Victoria (not to be confused with his father John Cain, the 34th Premier of Victoria).

In addition to being remembered as one of Labor’s greatest thinkers, reformers and a man credited for modernising the state of Victoria, John Cain was responsible for moving the Australian Open from Kooyong to the Melbourne Park precinct, securing the events longevity in Melbourne.

5 Fast Fact about John Cain​
1. The first Labor leader in Victoria’s history to govern for consecutive terms.
5 Fast Fact about John Cain​
2. A gender equality campaigner, pressuring elite sporting clubs to abolish archaic exclusively male zones.
5 Fast Fact about John Cain​
3. Drove legislation that prohibited outdoor tobacco advertising and in turn created the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)
5 Fast Fact about John Cain​
4. Responsible for establishing the TAC (transport accident commission)
5 Fast Fact about John Cain​
5. He extended Saturday shop trading hours, nightclub hours and approved Sunday VFL football.
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Throughout the 80’s the Australian Open was at risk of being relocated, with suitors as far and wide as Beijing and Singapore. John Cain conceptualised and brought to fruition the construction of the National Tennis Centre at Melbourne Park to replace the ageing Kooyong Stadium. 

This bold move at the time secured Melbourne as the long-term home of the Australian Open, which otherwise could today be known as the Asia Pacific Grand Slam, if not for John Cain.

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John Cain was a progressive leader whose popularity was widespread across the community. He led a number of changes to Victorian laws, active in reforming education, environment, law, public administration and even allowed nudist beaches in Victoria (oh la la!).

The Name Evolution of John Cain Arena

Sportsnet® John Cain Arena Super Suite 

Sportsnet® Super Suite is the most comfortable place to watch Australian Open action in John Cain Arena! Optimising your Australian Open experience with a private entrance, two licensed bars with a range of culinary delights, air-conditioned luxury seating balcony making it the best seats in the house! The Sportsnet® Super Suite makes a great day at the tennis an extraordinary day at the tennis!

It just wouldn’t feel like summer in Australia without Grand Slam tennis. Regardless of your political persuasion, John Cain’s initiative to construct the National Tennis Centre at Melbourne Park was a pivotal moment in time for sport in Australia. We couldn’t see (and we’d never want) the Australian Open played anywhere else!

Melbourne has John Cain to thank for the Australian Open remaining in this great sporting city.

It makes complete sense that Melbourne Park’s ‘people’s court’ is named after a man of the people – the late & great John Cain.

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