Revenue down 80% for U.S. Open Without Fans

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Revenue down 80% for U.S. Open Without Fans

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The U.S. Open tennis competition is starting on Monday, following a wave of demonstrations throughout the sports world that brought competitors in expert tennis, basketball, baseball, and soccer to a stop today.

 After at first taking out of her match in demonstration at the Western & Southern open, a precursor to the U.S. Open, tennis star Naomi Osaka won her semi-final match and eventually ended up in 2nd location. 

“[The WTA and USTA] provided to hold off all matches up until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the motion,” Osaka informed The Guardian.

Billie Jean King, a 39-time Grand Slam champ and part of the Original Nine who originated equality for ladies in expert tennis 50 years back, applauded Osaka for utilizing her platform. 

“This is really the moment in time that we can truly, truly change things,” King stated in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box taped Thursday. “We are going to continue to use our platform at the U.S. Open for positive change, for equality and for justice.”

Osaka, 22, made $37 million in between May 2019 and May 2020, more than any other female professional athlete ever, according to Forbes.

“Immediately we knew the right decision was to support our athletes but also support our sport by taking that pause on Thursday,” stated United States Tennis Association CEO Michael Dowse in an interview on Squawk Box. “It is important that we restart again collectively, together on this global stage.”

The U.S. Open draws travelers from worldwide and is generally an increase for the New York City economy.

Dowse stated earnings, which will count on broadcast and sponsorship offers, will be down 80% this year without fans. The company needed to take advantage of its reserves to money the competition. In 2019, a record 737,872 individuals participated in the U.S. Open over 2 weeks, creating $400 million in earnings. 

“We have no fans in sight but it doesn’t mean we don’t have fans around the world watching this sport. Everyone has been starved to see world class tennis again,” Dowse stated from an empty Arthur Ashe arena Friday early morning. 

Unlike the NBA’s bubble, the USTA is executing a multi-tiered system for keeping track of the health of gamers, media, and occasion personnel. Players and their visitors, which become part of Tier 1, are evaluated every 4 days.

“The U.S. Open’s been very, very adaptable,” stated King. “It really gets down to personal responsibility and that they have their two bubbles, one for the players and one for the support team and all–they’re trying to do it right.”

Dowse hopes the competition will influence more Americans to get the sport of tennis, which he highlights has actually been an outlier in the pandemic .

“People have realized tennis is the perfect social distancing sport,” states Dowse. “We are cautiously optimistic we’ll have fans back in the stadium next year.”

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