Who is John Cain of John Cain Arena?
Melbourne Park’s Melbourne Arena has been officially renamed John Cain Arena.
Australian Open regulars have seen their beloved Ground Pass Entry Arena change naming rights over the years, still commonly being referred to as Hisense Arena (and still Vodafone among a few) and most recently known as Melbourne 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, speculation and underlying questions in the lead up to the 2021 Australian Open, 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?
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.
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 again 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.
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 John Cain Arena (JCA) is not the only noticeable change to ‘The People’s Court’ for 2021 edition of the Australian Open.
To ensure the “Happy Slam” becomes the “Very Safe and Happy Slam” and adhere to world class COVID-safe practises, the Melbourne Park precinct will be divided into three separate zones, each including one of the three major arenas (RLA, MCA & JCA).
The Name Evolution of John Cain Arena
Melbourne Multi Purpose Venue
*Also the official name during the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games
John Cain Arena
Each zone offers its own unique combination of world-class tennis action, live experiences and the culinary offerings for which Melbourne is renowned.
The John Cain Arena zone will include JCA and more match action on two eastern courts. Tennis fans can also see the stars warming up at the Practice Village and wine and dine within a slice of Grand Slam Oval.
JCA will be taking the RLA and MCA approach of allocated seating, rather than line up – first in, best dressed we have seen in the past.
One thing that hasn’t changed with John Cain Arena is the access of the Sportsnet® Super Suite!
Sportsnet® Super Suite is still 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.