By organizing the Parisian fortnight from May 31 to June 13, the French Tennis Federation hopes to attract more people to the stadium with a higher tonnage.
The news was revealed on Wednesday evening by a person close to the organization, confirming information from The team, it is now official since Thursday morning: Roland Garros will be postponed for a week this year. Initially scheduled from May 23 to June 6, the Paris fortnight will finally be held from May 30 to June 13. Qualifying will take place May 24-28.
Why this postponement of one week? In negotiations with the government for a long time, the organizers wanted to optimize their chances of being able to accommodate as many people as possible in the stadium. For four weeks and since April 3, France has been subject to new confinement but at the end of this period of restrictions, the return of the public to cultural and sporting places can be considered gradually. With an additional period of one week, the spectator gauge could therefore be revised upwards and ticket revenues higher.
The objective, “for this 2021 edition of Roland-Garros, is to maximize the chances that the tournament can be played in front of the greatest possible number of spectators, both for the players and for the whole community of enthusiasts, while guaranteeing everyone’s health security, ”explained the FFT, organizer of the event. “In view of this dual objective, each week can prove to be precious”, she insisted.
There was little room for maneuver for organizers to change its schedule, with Wimbledon starting just two weeks after the end of Roland Garros. “I am delighted that the consultation with the public authorities, the various international tennis bodies, our partners and broadcasters and the work in progress with the WTA and ATP has made it possible to postpone the 2021 edition of the tournament by one week. Roland-Garros tournament, and I thank them for it ”, explained the president of the FFT, Gilles Moretton, quoted in the press release. This decision received “the full support” of the Grand Slam Board, the body that brings together the four Grand Slam tournaments.
Last year the tournament was moved to the end of September with just 1,000 spectators per day across the stadium. Conditions which had reduced almost to nothing the revenues of the ticket office while the event constitutes an essential line of the revenues of the French Tennis Federation. In 2019, the tournament generated 260 million euros in turnover out of the 325 million total annual budget for the federation.