Australian Open Tournament Dir Craig Tiley Says Event Will Review Heat Policy
Australian Open Tournament Dir Craig Tiley said that "the comprehensive annual event review would include a reappraisal of its controversial extreme heat policy," according to Linda Pearce of THE AGE. Tiley said that "only the four blistering hot days in week one denied the Australian Open a record crowd." Although, significantly, pre-sales were about 8% higher than before, numbers of walk-up ground-pass patrons "were down on days two to five," meaning the aggregate crowd figure -- including an estimate for the final-night attendance -- was expected to be down by 7-8% on the 684,457. Tiley: "We are very weather-dependent. Every day that we did not have the heat was a record for us, and if we hadn't had the heat for those four days it definitely would have been a record." Tiley said that the extreme heat policy, adjusted to allow play to stop at the referee's discretion, "had been implemented with the players' approval." He said, ''But like with everything we do we'll look at it. The thing we have to find is what is the fairest way to put a policy in place that doesn't negatively impact the playing environment, and negatively impact one player over the other, and that's where the struggle always comes" (THE AGE, 1/27).