The nearly fan-free Miami Masters set to start in 10 days is drawing heavy fire for extortionate ticket prices, many more than three times higher than at pre-pandemic editions.
The event which was held for decades on the upscale and inviting Latin-influenced island of Key Biscayne, has been transferred in recent years to a stadium parking lot on the gritty northern side of the city.
Wtth COVID in full flow in Florida – masks rules don’t apply – daily crowds will be limited to around 750 fans in a nod at social distancing.
In addition, many match courts will be off-limits to spectators anyway, meaning parts of the ATP-WTA tournament will be played in a vacuum.
And even die-had fans are up in arms over outrageous ticket prices:
One tweeted to ESPN talking head Brad Gilbert: “@bgtennisnation Every year, my husband and I attend the US Open, Indian Wells, and the Miami Open.
“We buy full session tickets because we need to travel to the events. This year, the Miami tickets are unaffordable. They start at $5150 per ticket. In 2019, we paid $3K for 2 tix.’
Players in Miami – Roger Federer has already pulled out – will be living the usual tournament bubble life between hotel and the dead ambience of the temporary site.
Prize money has also been reduced with intake now a major problem for events of any size on the Tour.
In 2019 – the event was the second to be cancelled last March as COVID arrived – global prize money stood at USD 16.7 with each champion banking 1.3 million
The upcoming total payout will be cut to USD 3.3 with winners earning 300,000.