When it comes to planning the tennis I will go to year on year WTA Birmingham is the first choice for me.
Having a international tennis tournament on the doorstep (40 minute train journey) is fantastic but this year there will be a lot of changes.
It was announced last year that event in Birmingham which has been operating at a loss has will be demoted from a WTA Premier event to a WTA International.
This demotion of course also means a decrease in prize money and most likely a lot of top players might play elsewhere. A new tournament taking place in the same week which has been backed by the All England Club (Wimbledon) has seen the demotion of a home event for a new event in Berlin but that’s a different story…
There is currently no news on entrants list but Birmingham last year had Osaka, Barty and Venus turn up as well as in previous years Pliskova and Kvitova, will the top continue to come to Birmingham or will the attraction of a bigger tournament in Berlin pull them in?
The only name who used to play Birmingham but now isn’t is German player Julia Georges who couldn’t really turn down the chance to play at home.
How much has the prize money changed?
The draw sizes for Berlin and Birmingham are the same. 32 singles players, 24 qualifying spots and 16 doubles teams.
Berlin has $1,088,000 to offer on prize money where as Birmingham has $275,000 to offer.
Going by similar tournaments with similar prize money, the estimated prize money for different stages are:
Predicted Prize Money – Birmingham
Round 1 exit – $2,300 (1 point)
Runner-up – $21,410 (180 points)
Winner – $43,000 (280 points)
Predicted Prize Money – Berlin
Round 1 exit – $6,398 (1 point)
Runner-up – $86,840 (305 points)
Winner – $163,805 (470 points)
Quite the difference. This is due to tournament category but surely it will be a tough sell to bring the best back to Birmingham.
More points and prize money on offer in early round and in the final.
So, does that mean ticket prices for Birmingham have been reduced?
No guarantee of top players returning and a 73% decrease in prize money but the ticket prices stay the same.
Obviously there are cheaper seats if you sit up in the gods but if you are going to a local event you want to be close to the action so you are talking up to £55 a day.
You can buy bundles but obviously weather comes into play as well if you want to do that.
I do find it unusual that qualifying tickets start from £12 but then main draw on Tuesday starts from £7.
I don’t like to use the mis-leading at all but before you decide you must check. Tickets on main draw Tuesday from £7 but it doesn’t say until after you’ve selected your day that they are kids tickets.
Even if you sit up in the gods as an adult it is £17. If you wanted to sit within 10-20 rows of the court it would cost an adult and a child around £70 for one session.
If anything there is now a slight pressure as fans will want to see some of the best in Birmingham and I do hope that will happen.
I will as ever be going to Birmingham as I do love the tennis there but at the moment I’m unsure whether it will be for one day or a few.