Originally Posted by Blocker
Part of the problem with the AO was that it was shared around between cities, it never had a permanent home. Once it finally settled in Melbourne, it was only then that the wheels were put in motion to make it an event worth taking seriously.
It moved around up to 1971, but then it settled down. The event has been in Melbourne since 1972, but the worst period of the Australian Open attendance slump was 1976-1982. I think moving it away from the Christmas period in 1982 was the start, and then moving to the new venue, Flinders/Melbourne Park, in 1988, was even bigger. Then there's the prize money difference as well.