The Australian Open will have 40% less revenue

The state of Victoria and the organizers made a possible balance of the tournament accounts, which will see their income reduced due to the pandemic.


The current edition of the Australian Open will be a considerable blight on the economic plot for the state of Victoria (Australia), which could earn up to 40% less due to the hasty decision to organize the first Grand Slam of the season in a first section of 2021, which continues to be severely affected by the pandemic worldwide.

"If the Australian Open is not held here, it will be held somewhere else. It will take place in Japan, China or Singapore, and then the great risk will be not to get it back," Dan Andrews said at a press conference three weeks ago, Prime Minister of the Australian State of Victoria.

The economic results harvested in this particular edition of the 'major aussie' will be announced once the competition ends, after the men's final this Sunday, and the figures will be considerably far from the 574,970 hotel reservations recorded in January 2020, which were associated with an average daily expenditure of $ 209 per person.

Tim Harcourt, professor of economics at the University of New South Wales (Australia), commented that according to his estimates the Australian Open would contribute between 30 and 40% less approximately to the state government as a consequence of the fact that 13% of the total viewers habitual come from abroad; while 26% arrive from other states within the country.

"Through events like the Australian Open, people are expected to come to Melbourne and then visit iconic sites like the Great Ocean Road or Phillip Island. The government is confident that this domino effect will not take place this year," he explained in an interview with the local media 'The New Daily'.

Harcourt rightly added that television rights and sponsors would generate income that would not be sufficient in return for the high risk involved in organizing a tournament of this magnitude in times of pandemic.

Time proved him right and the state government announced a strict confinement for the entire population of Victoria for five days, which coincided with the traditionally busiest days at the 'Open', in which the public could not attend Melbourne Park.

The confinement was decreed as a consequence of the 13 positive cases linked to a contagion in a hotel, which implied one of the less serious scenarios contemplated before organizing the Australian Open with the COVID crisis as a backdrop.

"The Australian Open is an institution in Melbourne. I doubt that we would have lost it. It would only have been postponed if it had not been held at the beginning of the year," he added, referring to Andrews' statements about the possibility of losing the venue. from the first 'slam' of the season.

Tennis Australia, a body that fulfills the function of a national tennis federation, was not initially going to be so affected by the delicate situation they faced as they were more immune in this area: more than half of the income generated in The 2019 edition came from television rights and sponsors who closed their contracts before the uncertainty loomed in February 2020 with the onset of the health crisis.

However, the 'major' organization was responsible for the expenses related to flights and quarantines of all players and their teams, which amounted to 40 million dollars.

Professor Ross Booth, Academic in Sports Economics at Monash University (Australia), stated before the final date was announced that the state economy would benefit more the later the tournament was held throughout 2021.

"There is plenty of time, there is no other event that can be overlapped in the calendar. If we celebrate it later we will have more public," he said.

For his part, Professor Mark Stewart, a sports economist at RMIT University (Australia), warned about the dire consequences for the state economy that would result from moving the celebration of the Australian Open outside the school holidays.

"The benefit for the regional economy occurs when you get people to come and spend the night. If it is not celebrated during vacations, people will have problems when it comes to spending the night away from home," he argued.

"Of course it will generate much less benefit for the Australian economy because you are dispensing with a large number of international tourists," he said.

In the weeks leading up to the main competition, several major preparatory tournaments were held in Melbourne Park, including the prestigious ATP Cup that featured the participation of the world's top finishers.

The match between Italian Matteo Berrettini and Frenchman Gael Monfils on the second day of the ATP Cup was attended by just over 50 spectators in a John Cain Arena that has a capacity for 10,500 people.

The low number of spectators recorded during the week leading up to the Australian Open, marked in part by restrictions, was a clear consequence of leaving the tennis event out of school holiday dates and not having it organized in line with future dates school break.

It is true that the blow that the organization received, after the confinement that prevented the entry of the public from the sixth to the eleventh day of the Australian Open, was totally out of expectations due to the good situation that the country was going through in relation to the pandemic .

However, what happened was another risk they faced when deciding to carry out the championship in the first section of 2021.

The South African Craig Tiley, director of the Australian Open, announced in a statement on Wednesday that the public could return this Thursday as a result of the end of the confinement and that it would remain at 50% of the total capacity as a security measure.However, the percentage of public present in the first big session of this first day without confinement, which presents the semifinals between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, is not close to the 50% marked, since a large number of spectators had planned to arrive from other states that have closed their borders to Victoria due to the recent outbreak.

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