With the objective of re-establishing world class tennis playing platforms in South Australia, Tennis SA enlisted the help of AECOM to deliver project management services for the Memorial Drive Tennis Precinct upgrade.

An exciting new steel framed, fabric roof structure complimenting the stadium’s heritage was constructed to cover the existing centre courts, creating a dynamic, contemporary venue designed for tennis, but capable of accommodating a range of other sports and entertainment performances.

AECOM’s success in delivering the first stage of the development – the Anchor Project involving the upgrade of the outer courts – was a key driver in the selection process to deliver the new roof. Tennis SA looked to AECOM to deliver this critical project, reflecting a high degree of confidence and trust between the two parties.

The $11 million program faced significant challenges from its inception. Most notably, Tennis SA had committed to the hosting of an international tennis tournament prior to construction commencing. This placed enormous time pressures on the development as there was no option to extend the completion date.

With the compressed time frame, AECOM quickly secured the appointment of the consultant team lead by Cox Architecture and largely consisting of those who delivered the Anchor development. Similarly, the tender for the Managing Contractor saw Kennett, the original contractor re-appointed. The project continued to rely on established relationships and effective communication characterised by trust and a genuinely collaborative approach.

Demolition and construction activities had the potential to disrupt operations of the surrounding stakeholders. AECOM and the team ensured inconveniences were minimal to both the surrounding stakeholders and the offices of Tennis SA, which were located beneath one of the existing stands.

An additional challenge was the transportation and erection of the 65m long structural steel trusses. Constructed in three pieces, they were transported overnight to ensure minimal disruption to traffic. They were then individually craned into position and bolted together without compromising the main centre court surface, with the installation of the fabric roof following immediately.

The project was fully delivered in 10 months with AECOM managing these very tight time lines.

Tennis SA were very happy with the project and the success of the Adelaide International that followed. The relationship between Tennis SA and AECOM remains strong, as they adjust to their new home: an exciting, multi-purpose venue, aiming to bring social diversity through events to Adelaide.