Roland-Garros was held in 2020 in the fall and not in the spring and with a ticket office reduced to 3% of what it is usual, but the organizing French Tennis Federation (FFT) explained Sunday to have balanced tournament accounts: what is missing is the margin.
“It is an absence of the order of 80 to 100 million euros, detailed the general manager of the FFT Jean-François Vilotte. This is what we are going to smooth out over time so as not to slow down our efforts in favor of clubs and associative structures. We are doing it with the support of our banks and we hope to do it with the support of the state.”
Normally, Roland-Garros is the source of 80% of the annual budget of the FFT, an independent organization. The margin released on the organization of the French Grand Slam tournament “is redeployed for the benefit of French tennis“and so it is”this ability to organize French tennis“which is undermined this year, underlined Mr. Vilotte by insisting that the tournament had not been organized”at a loss“.
“Our products for the 2020 fall edition have been cut in half. The charges obviously could not be at this height (due to the health protocol in particular). And so, if we are more or less balanced, what is missing from the fall edition is the margin that allows, year after year, to finance the development of tennis in France. This is why we have put in place the means to maintain this effort – this is our role as a Federation – by smoothing out over time the effects of the health crisis that we have just suffered.“, he detailed.
Bis repetita in Bercy?
“I would like people to realize that between the decision in mid-March (to postpone the tournament to the fall) and the final today (Sunday), it was truly a Stations of the Cross. We had to hold on“, he underlined.
The FFT must now organize the Masters 1000 in Paris, which it confirmed this week to be held from October 31 to November 8, with a gauge reduced to 1,000 spectators per day. “We have the ambition to organize the tournament in health responsibility there too because we have a responsibility vis-à-vis the community of players, vis-à-vis the international tennis community., insisted Mr. Vilotte. Our ambition is to try to balance the conditions for organizing this tournament“.