As the decisions presented to sports officials become increasingly harder and simultaneously more significant, the USTA must soon decide whether or not to play the US Open in 2020.
As the tournament that earns the United States Tennis Association over 80% of their revenue, the obvious choice for tournament organizers is to play the US Open. In 2019 alone, the US Open drew in 738,000 fans and not only earned a large sum of money for the tournament, but also for surrounding restaurants and hotels.
Additionally, if the US Open is canceled, the USTA will not receive any form of insurance since they chose not to purchase the extra plan. And, after recently borrowing $700 million to pay for the construction of their Orlando campus and a renovation of their National Tennis Center, the USTA cannot afford to lose money on the US Open.
Still, with money in their savings, the USTA could put on the US Open, but not without its losses. Reportedly, the USTA has $155 million in their savings, but if they use it, they will be forced to take cuts from the tennis organizations they fund in the United States.
But, for every reason the US Open needs to be played, their are as many if not more valid reasons that it should not be. For starters, Flushing Meadows, where the tournament is played annually, happens to be in practically the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York.
On top of this, part of the facility was being used as a temporary 350-bed hospital and another part was being used to package meals. So, this leads almost seamlessly to the idea that the tournament should be played in a different location.
Not surprisingly, the top choice for relocation has been Indian Wells, which usually holds the BNP Paribas Open. But, even if the relocation works in theory, players would then have to find a way to travel safely to the United States.
At the end of the day, everybody in the tennis community wants the US Open to be played. Even so, without a well-calculated, clear-cut plan to host it under safe conditions, the tournament should not be played in 2020.
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