Tickets for a reduced edition of the Australian Open went on sale Wednesday, with officials satisfied with a goal of one-quarter of last year’s approximate 850,000 attendance figure.

COVID restrictions on the locked-down island continent will limit sales to 25 per cent of capacity. 

The event will start three weeks late on February 8, with all players required to isolate in hotel rooms from mid-January for a fortnight.

AO bosses have little choice but to hype the event even as parts of Sydney are fighting to subdue a fresh outbreak of the virus which was only recently eradicated in Melbourne.

“The AO will be a great celebration for Melbourne and all Victoria after an incredibly tough year,” TD Craig Tiley said.

“Tickets will be more limited this year so you’ll need to get in early to secure your seat. 

“We are starting ticket sales at 25 per cent of capacity in our three main stadiums and as we work closely with the Victorian government, hope to be in a position to increase our numbers as we get closer to the event.

“Although our event will look a little different as we prioritise the safety of everyone, it’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to come together and experience many of the best things about Melbourne – live, world class sport in an exciting festival atmosphere. 

“We look forward to welcoming the world’s best players to Melbourne Park. I know they can’t wait to compete in front of crowds again and are prepared for the strict quarantine process when they arrive, all of which is a key element of ensuring everyone’s safety.”

Tiley said ticket prices will remain the same as 2020, with Rod Laver Arena showcase entry set at AUD 62 (less than USD 50).

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