ATP/WTA tour suspension extended & an update on the US Open

The ATP and WTA have announced the tours suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been extended until the end of July. A decision on tournaments August and until immediately after the US Open is expected in two weeks time.

There have also been updates from the US Open who are looking at options behind the scenes but do not have cancellation insurance which covers a pandemic unlike the New York City Marathon and of course Wimbledon.

ATP/WTA suspension extended

The ATP and WTA have both announced extensions of the tour until the end of July.

The ATP has announced a suspension until 31st of July that means a cancellation of these events:

Hamburg
Newport
Bastad
Los Cabos
Gstaad
Umag
Atlanta
Kitzbuhel

The ATP 500 event in Hamburg and ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel are interesting in filling the slot of the 14th of September a week before Roland Garros. Both events are in Europe and on clay.

The WTA will see these events cancelled:

Bucharest
Bastad
Lausanne
Jurmala

Palermo and an event in Karlsruhe are expected when further updates are made in a couple of weeks time.

US Open

On to the US Open, the USTA are still planning ahead and there are some important things coming out of New York which of course is the worst affected city in this pandemic.

  • Site at Billie Jean King Tennis Centre is currently winding down the temporary hospital that was built there with around 350 patients with the last leaving last week
  • USTA is considering a move to a site in Orlando but it has no seating structure for fans
  • A look a potentially moving to Indian Wells site in California is a possibility but there have not been discussions with the sites owner Larry Ellison

The US Open produces around $400 million in revenue every year which makes up for around 80% of the USTA’s revenue.

Cancelling the US Open is more of a difficult decision than what was taken for Wimbledon and the New York City Marathon as both organisations purchased insurance which covers them in a pandemic. The New York City Marathon purchased it after 9/11 and it was looked at by the USTA but were put off by a few million a year.

An event that makes over $400 million a year not paying a couple million a year for insurance suddenly looks a bad idea.

Not only that but the USTA did borrow $700 million from Fitch to help with projects across the association.

Fitch recently published a report giving the USTA currently an A- on credit which you can read below:

Fitch Publishes USTA National Tennis Center, Inc. (NY) at ‘A-‘; Outlook Stable

The original $700 million was secured by putting forward revenue, ticket sales and money from media deals and the report from Fitch says the USTA would be able to cover it’s annual payments hence the rating of A- even with a potential cancellation a possibility.

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