As we know, the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it an adjourn of the global agenda. Entrepreneurship events, technological conventions, fashion galas, sports events and many other have been suspended amid the impossibility of gathering people together while battling COVID-19. Nonetheless, the US Open is one of the few events pending confirmation and its directives are still deciding whether or not to host New York’s most meaningful sport event.
As New York has become an epicenter of the virus it is clearly a risk to hold this tournament on its hometown, yet after all the devastating outcomes the virus has left, hosting it could revitalize and motivate New Yorkers as the city battles to embrace and achieve normalcy. However, reality is that the city remains on lockdown and it will maintain it until the Government considers health conditions are safe for people to get back out.
Given the situation, Mike Dowse, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) CEO and Executive director, has expressed that they’re analyzing and considering every option on the table in order to carry on with the 2020 US Open despite de difficulties. He mentioned several possibilities such as hosting the event in California’s Indian Wells Garden which embodies one of the largest centers by possessing 16,000 available seats. Other options presented by Dowse was playing the tournament on different dates, without any public assistance or eliminating the doubles category.
It is important to consider the impact of pulling off US Open would have for the Tennis sport, keeping in mind that many other tournaments have been cancelled, like Indian Wells, Miami Open, Monte-Carlo, Mutua Madrid Open and specially the two European Tour Grand Slams Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Some experts predict that going-on with the 2020 US Open could turn it into one of the most-watched sports events of all time, since people are anxious to see the Tour back. This also means great economic relief for the USTA in terms of revenue and finances since they also have suffered the devastating economic consequences of the pandemic.
At this time, the USTA is aiming to keep the scheduled slots. Even though the organization is concerned and well aware of all the safety requirements that will have to be addressed, their goal is to keep offering to the world United States flagship tennis event, even if it means shifting it to the West. American tennis authorities have manifested that continuous monitoring on the evolving COVID-19 crisis is part of USTA’S agenda by constant communication with the government and medical experts. Although the desire is to host de 2020 US Open, the top priority right now is health, safety and well-being of everyone involved with the tour, including players, fans, ticket holders, volunteers and staff.
Hopefully this uncertainty comes to an end soon so we can at least enjoy a second Grand Slam this year and get back to follow the sport we love!