Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Indian Wells Tennis Tournament returns this year

The BNP Paribas Open, which was the first major US sporting event to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, announced its return on Thursday.

The prestigious tennis tournament, which is held annually in Indian Wells, California, was not held in 2020 and was postponed from the usual dates in March this year.

But after extensive negotiations with the numerous professional tennis stakeholders, the event is being held in October. The exact dates have not been determined because the tours for men and women will not be finalized until June for the late-season calendars. But Tommy Haas, a former player of the tournament, said the BNP Paribas Open will be presented with full prize money.

Many tennis events reduced the prize money during the pandemic due to the loss of ticket and sponsorship income. The Miami Open, held in March after it was canceled in 2020, reduced its compensation. Singles champions earn $ 1.35 million in 2019, but only $ 300,000 in 2021. The drastic cut has led to complaints from John Isner, the 2018 men’s winner, and other players about the transparency of the decision-making process.

But Haas said the BNP Paribas Open is committed to maintaining prize money at its usual level.

“I think this is what the players will be really happy about,” Haas said in a video conference call on Thursday. “It simply came to our notice then. Of course, they went through difficult times. Their schedule was kind of upside down with travel restrictions and trying to be in one bubble after another. I hope things get a little easier in October for the prize money we think they deserve. ‘

The BNP Paribas Open, owned by US billionaire Larry Ellison, is especially popular with players because of its desert location, extensive facilities and relaxed atmosphere. It became the most important tennis event outside of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the season-end championships for the ATP and the WTA.

“As a German-American citizen, I’m going to call it my own Oktoberfest this year, which is going to be great, especially since Munich already had to cancel,” Haas said. German festival that will not be performed this year.

The BNP Paribas Open in 2020 was canceled just before the qualifying tournament in March after a coronavirus case was detected in the area and Riverside County, California, public health officials declared a state of emergency. Many players, including Spanish star Rafael Nadal, were already on site. The decision came so quickly that many players and officials found out about it on social media.

“Once we canceled, we went to work the next day to see how we would bring it back,” said Philippe Dore, the tournament’s media and marketing director. “I think we are working on our version 25 of budgets and different scenarios.”

More than 450,000 spectators attended the event in 2019, and Haas said he hopes to have a large number of fans again in October. California has relaxed pandemic-related restrictions in certain provinces and is aimed at fully reopening its economy next month. Tickets for the BNP Paribas Open are tentatively on sale on 21 June.

“We are going to follow all the guidelines,” Haas said. ‘Safety is obviously the biggest concern. It comes first, and we want to make sure everyone is very, very comfortable. ”

Nation World News Desk
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