Shaded Seats at Kia Arena

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Kia Arena, also known as Show Court Arena, is the newest addition to Melbourne Park’s tennis stadiums and serves as the largest open-air venue for the Australian Open. It offers unreserved seating, available on a first-come, first-served basis. This makes it a great spot for fans with grounds passes or tickets to larger arenas who want to catch a glimpse of their favorite players in a cozier atmosphere. Since it doesn’t feature a retractable roof, knowing the locations of shaded seats at Kia Arena is crucial for tennis enthusiasts planning to spend several hours enjoying the matches.

Where are the seats in the shade at Kia Arena?

The seats in the shade at Kia Arena are typically located in:

  • Baseline, North Side: Shade is generally found in the back half of each section.
  • Sideline, West Side: In the earlier part of the day, shaded seats are in the back half of each section. As the day progresses, the entire west sideline becomes shaded.

Tennis at the Australian Open begins daily at 11:00 AM or noon, and matches run all afternoon. That’s many hours of tennis action that takes place while the sun is shining bright.

Kia Arena offers 5,000 unreserved seats, so fans with a grounds pass can see their favorite players up close. Or those with reserved seats in another arena can pop over for a match or two. However, since every seat is unreserved, you should plan in advance which sections you want to target. Some seats will be more comfortable on a hot day than others!

Kia Arena Orientation to the Sun

All tennis show courts at Melbourne Park are oriented in a slightly off-axis north to south direction. By noon, the sun is high in the sky over the northeast section of stands. Over the course of the afternoon, the sun dips down along the west side of the stadium and sets behind the southwest corner.

The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on January 15th.

Shade and Sun at Show Court ArenaClick or tap here to see upcoming sessions at the Australian Open.

Where to Buy Tickets

Ticketmaster is the official ticketing site for the Australian Open. Event organizers warn that purchasing AO tickets from unauthorized sellers can result in the purchaser being denied entry to the event. For travel packages, a list of authorized partners is available on the AO website.

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Kia Arena Matches

Kia Arena is an open-air tennis venue but does feature a canopy running the circumference of the arena. The canopy extends out far enough to cover approximately half of the seats below. That means if a rain shower pops up, fans in the front half of sections, closer to the court, will get a bit wet, while those in the back half of sections will remain dry thanks to the canopy.

That said, when it comes to the sun, simply being underneath the canopy does not guarantee protection from the sun, since both the position of the sun and its height in the sky changes throughout the day. To avoid the sun, you want to find a spot where the sun is “behind you” rather than “in front of you.”

Practically speaking, at Kia Arena your best shot at finding shade at noon is in the northeast corner of the arena. By 2:00 PM, you will have a better experience in the northwest corner, and by 4:00 PM the shadiest seats will be sideline on the west side of the arena. Since seats are unreserved, it is theoretically possible to switch seats between matches, but on a day when popular players are scheduled, the best seats may not be available when you want to move. In this case, you may prefer to sit in the sun for a period earlier in the day in order to be in an ideal shaded seat later in the day.

Shadows on the stands at Kia Arena

The canopy provides some shade to rows farther back. Seats closer to the action are more likely to be in the sun. Credit: The new Show Court Arena also known as Kia Arena at Melbourne Park during Australian Open 2023 by Gracchus250 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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