A new regulation on crowd limits of 5,000 throughout France could mean trouble for Roland Garros, which officials hope to stage starting in a month.
TD Guy Forget has been lobbying for months to insure that the clay-cour major can come off without too many limitations.
One main goal: get the paying fans through the gates from September 27 at the rate of 20,000 per day – a must for financial salvation of the upcoming edition.
But the grand scheme may run into the French bureaucracy after the French Prime Minister said that no exceptions to the 5,000 limit will be granted.
That hard line might, however, be subject to some massage, with the French federation particularly well connected at city hall.
Officials are also keen to showcase the revised 15,000-capacity Chatrier court after its total overhaul including the installation of lights. That new innovation will mean the all-clear eliminating one of the unique selling points of the Paris showpiece – no night play.
With COVID-19 infections on the rise against in France – and particularly in Paris – a face mask rule for wear throughout the metropolis laid on this week will not help the case for staging the French Open
So far, tournament bosses have remained publicly silent, though some information will eventually be required to escape into the public sphere as the start date nears.
The clay fortnight normally begins in late May; but officials took unilateral action to push the dates back by four months when the virus pandemic began hitting Europe.
Neighboring German and Belgium have issued travel warnings for France – with emphasis on Paris, with Belgians banned by their government from entering Paris for the time being and Germans being warned off.