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E. Blackadder
Feb 15th, 2003, 04:44 PM
PXDG world's most popular indoor WTA-tournament 14/02/03

The number of visitors at the Proximus Diamond Games is almost exceeding the magic number of 100,000. This means that the Proximus Diamond Games is by far the world's most popular WTA-indoor tournament.

Time for an upgrade to Tier I?

Kim_for_number_1
Feb 15th, 2003, 04:46 PM
I've read that it's the world's second most popular wtatournament after Montreal.

ASV
Feb 15th, 2003, 05:24 PM
The US Open attracts far more, but that's not just WTA.

I def. think it should be upgraded to Tier I, but I doubt it will happen.

▀coene
Feb 15th, 2003, 05:33 PM
It's a great tournemant and it has great players.

The visitors had the possibility to fill in an inquiry. To the question. "What's still missing in your opinion at the proximus diamond games?", I answered, "for this year's edition: Anna Kournikova.

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 15th, 2003, 06:14 PM
Belgium needs a Tier I or II event

1 on Clay
1 indoors
1 hard

and maybe 1 grass tier 3 or 4

maccardel
Feb 15th, 2003, 06:24 PM
Antwerp is the most popular based on what?...survey they took at the door with the two most popular belgians in the world playing?


If that is the case why isn't ESPN running to show a highlight from this tourney?


Just what is the popularity based on?

There were 50 belgians in the 28 player draw(being scarcastic of course) but what is it baased on?

Mercury Rising
Feb 15th, 2003, 06:46 PM
Ehm, visitors ofcourse :confused:

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 15th, 2003, 07:59 PM
Yes and TV audience in Europe as well, I would assume.

Filip!
Feb 15th, 2003, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Yes and TV audience in Europe as well, I would assume.

You 're right!

Nimi
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:21 PM
Well it attracted 10,000 times the crowd the World Champs attracted last year. The atmosphere is great :D

It will probably be upgraded to a tier IIA soon, but not sure about tier I.

Hendouble
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:30 PM
The build-up for Clijsters' matches was ridiculously elaborate - spotlights leading the two players on with a huge loudhailer greeting for Kim, into the midst of a darkened court which the players had to warm up on for about two or three minutes before someone realised that despite the impressive theatrical effect, they still had to play a tennis match there and turned the lights back on.

You half expected a compere to come on saying "On my left, in the blue corner, the Belgian Bombshell, the Flemish Flag-waver, Kim Clijsters!!!!"

great smash
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:37 PM
Junior member by any chance?:rolleyes:

Hendouble
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:51 PM
Well the post count should give you some indication of that, but surely no need for the eye-rolling emoticon; I apologise if I may have offended dear Kimmy, your compatriot, but perhaps some kind of pugilistic build-up to her matches would aid her cause immeasurably.

Likewise: "in the red corner, on my right, the Walloon wimper-out, the French-speaking fright merchant (yes, horrible, do excuse my poor alliteration), Mrs Justine Henin-Hardenne!"

NaturalBlues
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:52 PM
The presentation is certainly over the top but at least the crowd consists of more than 50 people. Lots of belgians of course but also dutch and british people (yes I was there).

Let's talk about the Masters. LA, the home of Venus and Serena. Were were all those fans? For a city of that size (half the belgian population could live there) it was an embarrassing small crowd.

King Lindsay
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:56 PM
here's the question. How popular do you think the tournament would be without Kim and Justine?

Hendouble
Feb 15th, 2003, 09:58 PM
The only way to answer that question is to look at the attendance figures of 5 years previously, when the two of them (and indeed the Williamses, for that matter) had not even hit the scene.

Or did the tournament only start a couple of years ago?

King Lindsay
Feb 15th, 2003, 10:00 PM
the tournament's first year was last year. Before, it was located in Nice, France.

Wimanna
Feb 15th, 2003, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by Hendouble

Or did the tournament only start a couple of years ago?

It's only the second time they organise ;)

ktwtennis
Feb 15th, 2003, 10:44 PM
They should definitely put this event at tier one status and bump Tokyo down to tier two...

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 15th, 2003, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by Hendouble
Well the post count should give you some indication of that, but surely no need for the eye-rolling emoticon; I apologise if I may have offended dear Kimmy, your compatriot, but perhaps some kind of pugilistic build-up to her matches would aid her cause immeasurably.

Likewise: "in the red corner, on my right, the Walloon wimper-out, the French-speaking fright merchant (yes, horrible, do excuse my poor alliteration), Mrs Justine Henin-Hardenne!"

That is what makes the tournament popular. No one wants to turn on the tv and watch to girls come out there and say, "Oh, I hope you win...." "No, I hope YOU win"

You gotta have drama and excitement to build it up. I'm not sure what nation you are from, but this stunt has worked wonderfully for NBA, NFL, NHL, etc. etc.

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 15th, 2003, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by King Lindsay
here's the question. How popular do you think the tournament would be without Kim and Justine?

Probably not. Same way most of the tournaments anywhere would not be as popular without Venus and Serena.

Right now, while Belgium DOES has 2 starts on the WTA, the tour needs to capitalize on that and saturate the country with tennis and get the most for it's buck.

I think that's smart business.

Now, if for some reason, 10 years down the road and Belgium is lacking a star, the WTA should then move the tournaments elsewhere.....that is unless, the tournament is still making good money.

The tour makes money - they are happy

The fans get to see their hometown players - they are happy

The players get to play in their own country - they are happy

It's a win-win situation :)

VSFan1 aka Joshua L.
Feb 15th, 2003, 10:49 PM
And actually, because of the uprise in viewership in Belgium, the interest has spilled over to other players as well and from reports from Antwerp - all the matches have been full or near capacity -- even doubles and qualifying.

Thus, is another bonus for everyone :)

per4ever
Feb 16th, 2003, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by Hendouble
The build-up for Clijsters' matches was ridiculously elaborate - spotlights leading the two players on with a huge loudhailer greeting for Kim, into the midst of a darkened court which the players had to warm up on for about two or three minutes before someone realised that despite the impressive theatrical effect, they still had to play a tennis match there and turned the lights back on.

You half expected a compere to come on saying "On my left, in the blue corner, the Belgian Bombshell, the Flemish Flag-waver, Kim Clijsters!!!!"

hahaha....may be you didn't notice that ALL players go on court followed by a sportlight???? even during qualifying. So please spare us the crap.

This tournament is very popular, and lots of other tournaments would wish to have a crowd like this one.

fammmmedspin
Feb 16th, 2003, 01:31 AM
It looks like Antwerp might become another one of the super tier 11s alongside Sydney, Filderstadt and San Diego in terms of both player participation and public awareness. Its yet another reason for the WTA to sort out the tiering of its tournaments and the places they take place so that the tiers actually reflected the quality of the players who turn up and the interest they promote. With some Tier 1s notable only for who is absent and thechampionships lost in LA its proof that the right players in the right place can bring in the crowds.

ASV
Feb 16th, 2003, 04:16 AM
This tournament has been around for awhile.

It was played later in the year (on clay I believe), and was much smaller, but it isn't only Antwerp's first tournament in its second year!

Let's look at the facts:
2001: Two Belgians enter the top 10, each making a grand slam final
2002: Antwerp attacts both Belgians to play
2003: Antwerp attracts almost all of Belgium.

2003: ?
2002: Venus
2001: Rittner
2000: Coetzer
1999: Henin

Brian Stewart
Feb 16th, 2003, 10:12 AM
100,000 is damn impressive for an indoor event. The year-end Championships are the only indoor tournament to consistently draw that many. (Before they moved it out of NY.) Even last year, they drew over 50,000 to LA despite the most half-ass "promotional" job I've ever seen.

I'd have to check my stats, but I think there was another tournament or two that went over 100,000, besides the Canadian Open. And speaking of which, the Canadian Open is a prime example how a tournament need not be dependent on "home" talent. It's been a long time since they had a top 10 player (Bassett), or even someone in the top 20-30 (Hy-Boulais), yet the tournament keeps growing. If the folks in Antwerp can establish the PDG as a major annual sporting event, it should be successful even after Kim and Justine are gone.

Rollo
Feb 16th, 2003, 01:08 PM
Good point Brian. Rake the fans in while Clijsters and Henin are hot! Women's tennis in Europe needs all the help it can get right now.

Hagar
Feb 16th, 2003, 01:11 PM
They should have put the Masters in Antwerp. Tennis is hot in Belgium. I think the Netherlands is also a good place for croud and
Jezus, Kim is just entering the stadion and the crowd goes completely CRAAAAZZZZYYYYY! 15.000 people yelling, it sends shivers down my spine!

Hagar
Feb 16th, 2003, 01:12 PM
And it's not just for Kim, Venus enters and they are very loud as well!