the main venue
Last week the guest from WTA visited Katowice. What were Fabrice Chouquet's impressions?
First of all, he was surprised that we invited him to the townhall where he met the v-ce president of the city. I don't know if that's a standard thing but we are on the beginning of our way, we really wanted him to visit the townhall.
How did he like the Arena?
He was delighted at all the venue, that everything is in one place. He did all the analysis, measured everything and told that he's content and doesn't see any formal barriers to organise a tournament. Now we are waiting for the official announcement from WTA and signing the contract. That should be in January.
Will the tournament be also held in next few years.
The organizers - SOS Music from Toruń, cooperating with Wozniacki's father bought a license for 5 years. We would like to sign the deal with them for that time. Maybe afterwards there will be the time to create Wozniacki's academy in Katowice because there's a will for that from both sides. The talks with them are good and fast.
Let's come back to technical stuff... how many courts will be on the main board of arena.
We suggested two courts - one of them will be Centre Court. Choquet didn't mind. Of course there must be a bareer between them. We don't know what with yet but it's important that it doesn't have to be like a big wall, only 3 metres. We have talked for a very long time about the tv broadcast which demand special placement of lights and cameras - different than at box and volleyball. And we all know that best quality broadcast is incredibly important for the organizers.
Will there be more courts?
There will be two more courts at Spodek: one on ice-rink arena and gymnastic hall also in Spodek. We also take into consideration additional indoor venue in Szopienice which the visitator like a lot. But that venue we would like to use only during qualifying weekend.
Did you decide about the surface?
Not yet. There are three posibilities. First one - clay, the slowest court so most attractive for spectators (
) but also for the players who would play here to prepare for bigger clay tournaments and Roland Garros. But the clay would have to be set on 5 courts which is very expensive. The second option is Gerfloor Taraflex. It is reported that players don't like it so there would be a danger that higher ranked players would not decide to play. There's also a third option - Playflex carpet which was installed during Sofia tournament. We are still considering all three options.
Doesn't the probable absence of Radwanska make the danger that people won't come and the images of empty venue will mean "no" to make any bigger tournament here?
When we first hear of the idea, we didn't even hesitate. Nothing better could have happened to us. This is a worldwide tournament. Katowice is the centre of 2 million aglomeration. I think we have lot of tennis fans here. Even if Agnieszka doesn't play, we will organize the tournament so perfectly that there will be a signal for everyone that a big message will be sent to all the world - it's worth to come here and play. We believe that the tournament will be developed and will lure the sponsors and its prize money will increase.