Does anyone have more attendence figures for this (or other) years? I'm surprised at how figures have dropped for Charleston.
Here's an article rom the New Haven Register:
Pilot Pen continues to draw its core fans
Sean Barker and Jim Fuller , Register Staff 08/24/2003
NEW HAVEN — Normally during the annual state-of-the-tournament address, Pilot Pen Tennis officials discuss something they hope to improve upon for the next year.
Although officials will meet again, Tournament Director Anne Worcester said, "It will be very interesting to sit down and debrief this year."
One continued focus will be to draw non-tennis fans to the event with nightly concerts, shopping areas, children’s play areas and a variety-filled food court.
There were some things out of the officials’ control — from the oppressive heat to the retirements of Amelie Mauresmo in the semifinals and Lindsay Davenport in the final, both because of injury.
The event, which set a Tier II women’s-only record for attendance the past two years, drew 80,169, down about 13 percent from the 92,814 last year.
"Within a couple hundred tickets, we’re basically tied for fourth overall in 60 tournaments in 25 countries," Worcester said. "You know, after six years on the tour, compared with tournaments which have been in much larger cities for upward of 20-25 years, we’ll take that."
Montreal (100,000), Antwerp, Belgium (98,070), Charleston, S.C., (81,389), San Diego (80,556) and Sydney (80,550) were the only tournaments to outdraw the Pilot Pen this year. Those tournaments, like the majority on the WTA Tour, have the benefit of a Sunday final. That way they can take advantage of three weekend days at the end of the tournament. Because of the U.S. Open, the Pilot Pen ends on Saturday.
A WTA official told Worcester this week that he had never seen a tournament draw more than 6,000 fans on opening day. She noted that many tournaments don’t get 6,000 for the final.
Worcester said the biggest drop in tickets were the individual middle tier tickets, which were down about 40 percent. She said the series box seats and multi-session packages were similar to past years.
"I’m relieved to know that our core, loyal fans came back," Worcester said.
She said she was uncertain if the poor economy or absence of four-time defending champion Venus Williams had anything to do with the lower attendance.