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Discussion Starter #1
Leaving aside the result of the match between Giorgi and Linette, and all those which preceded it during the week, I'm struggling to understand how the WTA sanctioned a tournament which has a main court (Victor Kiam - I didn't see any matches on Pershing Square) with a capacity of only 800 spectators. Although the stands were pretty full, I could still see empty seats during the final.

I ask this because the WTA threatened to withdraw their sanction from Auckland for the ASB Classic unless the capacity of the centre court was increased from the existing 3,000 (or just over) to 3,500 - despite Auckland being one of only a handful of tournaments to sell out most of its sessions, and which ALWAYS has the semi-final and final days sold out months before the tournament even starts. Throughout this year, I've seen event after event where the crowd on the final day would struggle to get into four figures, even with beautiful weather. In fact, I honestly don't think I've seen any other International level where the crowd numbers would have got within a bull's roar of that in Auckland, and I'm quite sure that some of these stadiums have centre courts with a smaller capacity than Auckland anyway!

So why are the WTA picking on Auckland? The money which was to go towards enclosing the stadium and adding a roof has been used to remodel the western side, removing the concrete terraces in favour of increased seating, so that there is now no possible reason not to support the event. What is wanted now, of course, is for the WTA to allow Auckland to become a Premier event, so that the "hordes" of higher-ranked players who want to come here can do so without threatening to destroy the quota of such players allowed under the WTA rules.

With so many in favour of playing in Auckland (three or four of the top 10, and at least 12 of the top 20 is what I heard last time around), maybe the Players' Council needs to put some pressure on the WTA to either change the quota rules, or at least relax them for those tournaments that are within two or three weeks of a major event - especially at the start of the year, when just about all the players are coming off a six or eight week break. That, of course, assumes that the WTA will issue a flat "NO" to the idea of upgrading Auckland to Premier level.
 

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I know players like that tournament in Aukland. Zvonareva would tell the other Russian players to try it. The last 2 years, a finalist won the AO right after Aukland, and the 2019 finalist won Indian Wells & Rogers Cup. But the WTA has a limit on Premiers and the tournaments have to pay for that. Its a global business and there is a lot of money around the world that also want Premier events
 

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Not sure why a stadium capacity for an international level event should be a factor in the first place - Guangzhou has a bigger stadium than some of the premiers, but it’s often dotted with just a few spectators which makes for uncomfortable watching.

I’d rather watch the Bronx final than the Guangzhou final. At least yesterday it felt the crowd were invested in the tennis and can make an actual connection.

Of course the stadium capacity matters to some degree but bigger is not ALWAYS better... (no pun intended)
 

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I'm struggling to understand how the WTA sanctioned a tournament which has a main court (Victor Kiam - I didn't see any matches on Pershing Square) with a capacity of only 800 spectators.
Probably because they had no choice, they had no one willing to pay to organize a tournament and they couldn't let the pre-US Open week have none:

New York Junior Tennis and Learning, a nonprofit tennis and education program for underserved youth that was co-founded by Arthur Ashe, and the WTA stepped up to create the Bronx Open, a new $250,000 International-level tournament. It is the only professional women’s tour event the week before the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 26.

The WTA is paying for prize money and other expenses, said George Guimaraes, the president and chief executive of the N.Y.J.T.L., which enables the organization to hold an event that is free to the public with suggested donations for those over 18. It is rare for the WTA to provide funding for a tournament, but it has done so in the past, the WTA spokeswoman Amy Binder said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/17/sports/tennis/bronx-open.html
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not sure why a stadium capacity for an international level event should be a factor in the first place
I assume for the viability of the tournament. Presumably they've worked out budgets for each tournament, based on the seating capacity and usual occupancy rate for each session, and have arrived at the figure of 3,500 as the optimum size - but who knows?

- Guangzhou has a bigger stadium than some of the premiers, but it’s often dotted with just a few spectators which makes for uncomfortable watching.
That applies to any empty stadium. Hong Kong ITF is a case in point - I don't think I've seen more than half a dozen spectators on Centre Court, even for singles finals.

I’d rather watch the Bronx final than the Guangzhou final. At least yesterday it felt the crowd were invested in the tennis and can make an actual connection.

Of course the stadium capacity matters to some degree but bigger is not ALWAYS better... (no pun intended)
Agreed.
 

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I know players like that tournament in Aukland. Zvonareva would tell the other Russian players to try it. The last 2 years, a finalist won the AO right after Aukland, and the 2019 finalist won Indian Wells & Rogers Cup. But the WTA has a limit on Premiers and the tournaments have to pay for that. Its a global business and there is a lot of money around the world that also want Premier events
Don't you just mean China?
 

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this situation with the Bronx tournie has no relevance to Auckland's situation at all. The WTA was desperate to fill the slot, and they had to organize and sponsor the tournament themselves... this was the best they could come up with. I imagine that potential tournament hosts in the US are looking at this situation right now and thinking, why the hell should we pay a 7-figure sum to the WTA for a tournament franchise, if the WTA is willing to come in and do it all for free? If it was me, i'd be like, we'll host the event and bring in the sponsors, but we're not going to pay you a franchise fee.
 

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this situation with the Bronx tournie has no relevance to Auckland's situation at all. The WTA was desperate to fill the slot, and they had to organize and sponsor the tournament themselves... this was the best they could come up with.
I agree. The Bronx tournament is surely not going to last a second year in that slot the week before USO or retain MM status. Maybe it’ll be a 125K in second week of USO as originally planned or held as a 125K at some other time in the year. Other places that may consider bidding for the license will have to meet higher capacity standards I’d have thought.
 

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Don't you just mean China?
Its all over the world Tennis is having a very good year. IW/Miami attendance was a record by far. I expect NY to have great attnedance. Amazon is getting more involved and they are a trillion $ company run by a tennis fan.
The majors are helped by the big 3 and Serena doing well at majors. Gives the sport a constant high profile storyline with other big stars having their moments
And I expect the big 3 and Serena to be around for another 3-5 years, which is very good for all the players
 

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tRump has told American companies that they should be getting out of China. The Asian swing and WTA Finals could be a real flop this year. Wonder if Hong Kong could be cancelled this year with the protests there. They just had over a million people in the park where the tournament is played.
 

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The Hong Kong situation they have to monitor. But China will be fine. Trump wants to do a trade deal and tough talk is how he negotiates. China might delay him to see if he wins re-election, but I suspect US & China will wind up with a happy handshake and a deal they both like

This is a Trump quote when he is negotiating. Then they become friends
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
 

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There have been times where I'm watching matches and seeing tons of empty seats, the thought has crossed my mind that the whole tournament might be some kind of super elaborate money laundering scheme.
It’s become especially obvious with all of the tournaments in China. The WTA is a front for Chinese billionaires to launder their money.
 

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tRump has told American companies that they should be getting out of China. The Asian swing and WTA Finals could be a real flop this year. Wonder if Hong Kong could be cancelled this year with the protests there. They just had over a million people in the park where the tournament is played.
It’s also worrying that China moved a large military unit to Shenzhen just in case they want to move in on Hong Kong. I wonder if this year’s YEC photo shoot will take place on one of tankers.
 

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It’s become especially obvious with all of the tournaments in China. The WTA is a front for Chinese billionaires to launder their money.
Really, they dont need the WTA to launder money.
Thats small potatoes.
If they needed the WTA badly then no way Singapore would have outbid them for the YEC 10 years ago
 
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