BNP Paribas Open Sets Attendance Record For Second Consecutive Year
Roger Federer's defeat of John Isner yesterday in the men's final of the BNP Paribas Open drew a crowd of 16,668 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden to cap off a "record tournament," according to Leighton Ginn of the Palm Springs DESERT SUN. The 12-day combined ATP/WTA event drew 370,406 spectators, breaking last year's record of 350,086 (Palm Springs DESERT SUN, 3/19). In N.Y., Ben Rothenberg noted Oracle Founder & CEO Larry Ellison, who purchased the event and the venue in '10, is "considered something of a savior." Ellison is "conversant on a long roster of players, up and down the rankings." Rothenberg noted the "emphasis on technology at Ellison's event is unmatched at any other tournament." All eight courts used for the BNP Paribas Open are "equipped with the Hawk-Eye system that is used by players to challenge calls." Ellison said, "You can imagine how frustrating it would be to think you lost the match, or the match turned on a bad call. So I think the players really like playing here for a lot of reasons, and that’s one of the reasons -- that it’s going to be a fairly judged match because Hawk-Eye is everywhere." Talking about future improvements to the tournament, Ellison said, "I think you always see little things where you can make improvements, and I think that’s just having an eye for that. And you know, the other thing is talking with players. What do they like? What can we do to make it easier for them?" He added, "The tournament makes money, and we take that money and put it back in the form of investments. Buying additional land for parking, putting in Hawk-Eye, upping the prize money -- doing all those things just trying to make our tournament better" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/18).