UPDATE 3/12/20 11:31 a.m. –
After declaring a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, Miami-Dade County has officially postponed all upcoming large events, including the Miami Open tennis tournament scheduled to begin Mar. 23 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
“Although we do not have community spread at this time, we want to take the preemptive steps to keep it that way,” Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said in a statement Thursday morning. “As we move forward together during this time, we will continue to monitor what the World Health Organization has determined is a global pandemic. We will constantly evaluate planned mass gatherings as the situation evolves.”
Following the mayor’s announcement, the Miami Open issued an official statement supporting the mayor’s decision, reiterating that the health and safety of the community and everyone involved with the event remains a top priority.
Statement on the 2020 Miami Open. pic.twitter.com/MkOZ4kwffF
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 12, 2020
“We were looking forward to hosting another world-class event, but our priority remains the health and safety of everyone involved in the Miami Open, including the South Florida community,” said Miami Open Tournament Director James Blake. “We thank everyone for their understanding and support and look forward to returning to Hard Rock Stadium March 24-April 6, 2021.”
The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to public health & safety concerns over COVID-19.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 12, 2020
In addition, the ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The suspension means all ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events schedule up to and including the week of April 20 will not take place.
Following the recent cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the affected ATP Tour events are the Miami Open presented by Itau, the Fayez Sarofim & Co U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, and the Hungarian Open in Budapest.
“This is not a decision that was taken lightly and it represents a great loss for our tournaments, players, and fans worldwide,” ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement. “We believe this is the responsible action needed at this time in order to protect the health and safety of our players, staff, the wider tennis community and general public health in the face of this global pandemic. The worldwide nature of our sport and the international travel required presents significant risks and challenges in today’s circumstances, as do the increasingly restrictive directives issued by local authorities.”
The six-week suspension comes in the wake of the World Health Organization’s declaration on Wednesday that COVID-19 constitutes a global pandemic and the 30-day travel restriction announced by the United States for foreign nationals from 26 European countries. The suspension follows numerous local government orders on restrictions, bans or cancellations of public gatherings or events. The ATP has been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation related to COVID-19, taking advice from medical experts and travel advisors and consulting with all local regulatory authorities, and will continuously review the feasibility of subsequent events in the calendar.
Previous story 3/10/20 –
Following Sunday night’s cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the U.S. and around the world, the fate of the Miami Open, and the entire ATP/WTA clay-court season, remains up in the air despite no further cancellations.
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 9, 2020
Scheduled to begin on March 23, Miami Open and ATP/WTA officials are for now “moving forward as scheduled.”
Statement from the Miami Open. pic.twitter.com/kj6aDOmMwV
— Miami Open (@MiamiOpen) March 9, 2020
Indian Wells officials considered holding the event without fans in attendance while televising the event.
“We were supportive of the concept,” Steve Simon, the WTA’s chief executive, told The New York Times. “But ultimately the tournament didn’t feel it was in their best interest.”
Almost half a million fans attended the Indian Wells event in 2018-19.
“There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, in a statement released by Indian Wells organizers. “It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
In Miami the large Ultra Music Festival, scheduled to begin the same week as the Miami Open, has already been canceled. The ATP in a release Monday said it is “committed to exploring all options for the operation of upcoming tournaments.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 9, 2020
May’s Italian Open is in peril as Italy has quarantined the entire country in an effort to stop the virus, and France has banned assemblies of 1,000 people or more ahead of the French Open. Italy has begun holding sporting events with no fans in attendance.
Indian Wells Tournament Director and former world No. 2 Tommy Haas says the tournament could be held later in the year.
“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” Haas said of the tournament that has never been canceled since its inception in 1974. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
Miami Open organizers reiterated, “The 2020 Miami Open is moving forward as scheduled, March 23-April 5. Safety remains a top priority, and we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely with local, state and federal officials and health organizations in the lead up to the tournament.”
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi added in a statement, “While we regret that the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells will not take place, the ATP Tour calendar beyond Indian Wells remains as status quo. We continue to monitor the situation daily, working closely with our player and tournament members with the understanding that direction must be taken from local public health authorities.”
To keep up-to-date on the ATP Tour calendar, visit www.ATPtour.com.
For more details on the Miami Open, visit www.miamiopen.com.