Shaded Seats at Margaret Court Arena

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Margaret Court Arena, situated within Melbourne Park, is the second most prominent venue for the Australian Open and is cherished by tennis enthusiasts. With the tournament taking place in January, in the midst of Melbourne’s summer, sun avoidance is a top concern for tennis fans. Those wishing to stay cool and shaded should use this guide to determine the best shaded areas at Margaret Court Arena.

Where are the seats in the shade at Margaret Court Arena?

The seats in the shade at Margaret Court Arena are typically found in:

  • Baseline, North Side: Shaded throughout the day
  • Sideline, West Side: Begins to receive shade later in the day
  • Baseline, South Side: Shaded, with the possible exception of the first few rows

Matches at the Australian Open begin daily at 11:00 AM or noon, depending on the round, and the sun doesn’t set in Melbourne until almost 9:00 PM. That’s up to ten hours of tennis action that takes place while the sun is out and shining.

Margaret Court Arena was previously an open-air venue, but heat waves during Melbourne’s brutally hot summers prompted the Victorian Government to redevelop the arena in 2014. Margaret Court Arena now features a fully retractable roof that can be opened and closed to better control the climate on the court and in the stands.

To learn about which specific sections to choose for shade and which to avoid for sun and different times of the team, continue reading.

Margaret Court 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 closer to the southwest corner.

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

Shade and Sun at Australian Open StadiumClick or tap here to see upcoming sessions at Margaret Court Arena.

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 Afternoon Margaret Court Arena Matches

The addition of the roof to Margaret Court Arena is a huge improvement because it creates a lot of shade that didn’t exist before. If you’re attending the first match of the day around noon, the sun will be near its highest point in the sky, and seats directly below the roof will be shaded. You can mostly count on the upper-level sections 20-41 to provide shade as they are directly under the non-retractable part of the roof.

If you choose to sit closer to the action, your best bet early in the day is behind the north baseline, in sections 1, 2, or 19. Behind the south baseline, sections 9, 10, and 11 will have quite a few seats in the shade. However, the north side is a better bet as the sun will rotate behind the arena and protect north baseline sections from the sun all afternoon, while seats behind the south baseline, particularly those in the first several rows, will get smacked with sun as it crosses the sky.

Sideline sections on both sides of the arena will experience direct sun during the first match of the day, but seats on the west sideline will move into the shade for matches later in the afternoon. The hottest and most sun-soaked sections are 4-7. Fans should bring strong sunscreen and sun protection if they choose to sit here! On the opposite side, sections 13-17 will be in the sun early in the day but by mid-to-late afternoon will get some relief from the sun as it dips behind the west side of the arena.

Shadows on the stands at Margaret Court Arena

In the afternoon seats on the sidelines are in the path of the Melbourne sun while seats behind the baselines stay cool in the shade. Leonard Zhukovsky /

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Evening Margaret Court Arena Matches

Tennis fans attending an evening session will have a much easier time finding shade than those who attend during the day. However, just because the Australian Open calls these “night” sessions doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about the sun! The key for shade is to focus on the western half of the arena. Sections 1 and 10-19 will be in the shade as the sun begins to set. Any seat here is a fine choice if you want to enjoy some tennis action without worrying about the sun.

The sunniest sections are sideline sections 4-7. Fans who choose seats here should bring their best sunglasses as the sun will set directly into their eyes. Be careful as well with sections 24-26. Even if the roof directly above provides some sun protection, you might find yourself staring directly into the sun during the sunset match.

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