I know that that the L.A. Tennis Open has to make money, but I also know it doesn’t make the bulk of its money from ticket sales. It makes it in sponsorships. Now if I’m a sponsor and paid a hefty fee to get my logo on the stadium court – that is usually half empty – how do you think I would feel?
I say this because I’ve been noticing on various tickets boards and other websites people trying to sell their box seat tickets for less than standard rates, which is understandable due to the less than top tier names playing this year. What I don’t understand is why the tournament doesn’t offer a discount on same-day seats that are not going to sell.
My example. Tonight’s quarterfinal match with Tommy Haas vs. Marat Safin. Now, both players are names but, they’re not top ten players. If this were a match in the U.S. Open it would be second round at best. Why is the tournament trying to sell regular tickets at $55 a pop when they know that this match (along with a doubles match and a Legends match) is not worth it! (Full disclosure. I wanted to go to this match but didn’t feel the ticket price was justifiable.)
Offer a discount to sell those seats that I are know are empty. Sell them half-price. At least you will make something and keep your sponsors happy. Baseball and Basketball teams do it all the time. Why can’t tennis?
The debate goes on and on about why tennis is declining in interest in the U.S. A lot of it has to do with the inability of working people to attend tournaments. The U.S. Open can charge a hundred dollars a ticket because you are going to see a lot of top players throughout the day. Local ATP and WTA tournaments need to stop worrying about placating BMW dealers and start thinking on how to get more people to attend. It will keep their sponsors happy and ensure that more top players will attend.