Indian Wells site to remain open for players

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – The ramifications of the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open have not even yet been quantified.

But they are many and myriad.

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At this point, a lot of players, officials and media still hadn’t even arrived in the desert. So there are a lot of plans to change.

And what of the players who are here? At this point, they’re kind of homeless.

Not only did most of them have no plans to leave Indian Wells for at least a week, now they don’t even know where they should go, if they do leave.

Because you have to think that the Miami Open is next on the list.  Already, the Ultra music festival in Miami had been cancelled this week. 

But the tournament is making sure the players are taken care of.

They’ll have free hotel rooms through next Monday (that’s everyone, including qualifiers and doubles players).

They can train on site. Player dining is open, as is transport and laundry service.

The players have been advised that their player services, medical services and all that sort of thing will be operating.

Corona virus concerns mean Indian Wells is off

Indian Wells is the first big tournament to be cancelled. But it’s highly likely it won’t be the last.

Plans for the homeless

When Tennis.Life approached the coach of a WTA player, as the group was walking back from the practice courts, for a comment about the cancellation of the tournament. he thought we were making it up. Didn’t believe me.

And then, once the evidence was produced, everyone immediately wondered about the fate of the Miami Open.

A legitimate question.

One member of a player’s staff (no clue who he was, but he had a credential), walked off saying, “It’s just a COLD.” So, yes, there’s that. 

But beyond making sure the players don’t have to worry about getting out of (very expensive) Dodge in a hurry the next few days, with plans so uncertain, there’s not much that anyone really knows about how this all will play out. 

Here is the last player on the practice courts at what now is the defunct 2020 BNP Paribas Open.

They’d heard the news. But practice must continue.

Huge up-front costs already

All the employees hired for the two weeks. All the volunteers. All the security staff. All the court maintenance people. Everything.

All of the costs borne by players and their teams to even get here (not to mention the media – and especially the fans who made travel plans and invested a significant sum in making the trip.

All tickets purchased will be refunded, of course. But that doesn’t cover the rest of the costs involved in travelling to the tournament.

There’s been a lot going on here on site over the last few hours. The tournament has met with the player councils of both tours. 

We may well get more details Monday. But it might take awhile to sort all this out.

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