ATP World Tour Finals Draw Record Crowds; Host London Deemed A Success
The recently-concluded ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London "had record crowds," according to Paul Gittings of CNN.com. When the event moved from Shanghai in '09, "arguably the economic outlook was even more dire, but during its fourth staging this year the tournament celebrated its millionth paying customer and in many ways is a beacon for the heady success currently being enjoyed by tennis despite the global downturn.” ATP Exec Chair & President Brad Drewett said, "The ATP and its 62 tournaments are now generating more than half a billion dollars annually. We are in our strongest financial position ever and we have the biggest and best group of corporate partners ever involved in the game." The ATP reported that commercial revenues have increased 165% since '09. During finals week this year, "Ricoh extended its support while the big announcement saw title sponsor Barclays put its name to the tournament through 2015 with London confirmed as the venue in a two-year extension.” Attendance at ATP events has "remained steady at 4.4 million each year since 2009.” Former tennis player Boris Becker and London Times tennis beat writer Neil Harman believe that the Finals “will benefit from finding a permanent home in London, extended past 2015.” Harman said, "It's absolutely astonishing what has been achieved, what they have done with the stadium, the players all love it" (CNN.com, 11/13).
NEW HEIGHTS: The event drew a record 263,229 fans across eight days this year. The previous record of 256,830 was set during London’s first year of hosting the event in ’09. The tourney also attracted record audiences on both TV and online with an estimated global cumulative audience of 100.7 million viewers. Live match streaming on TennisTV.com received more than 3.75 million total streams, an increase of 25% over last year. ATPWorldTour.com attracted a record 3.4 million unique users for the week (ATP).