BNP Paribas Open postponed amid COVID-19 concerns

The 2021 edition of the BNP Paribas Open, one of the biggest events on the tennis calendar, has been postponed following consultations with health authorities and tournament owner Larry Ellison.

The tournament, which is also known as the Indian Wells Masters, had been due to take place from March 8-21. Organisers will now work with the ATP and WTA Tours, along with title sponsor BNP Paribas, to confirm dates to stage the event later in the year.

The BNP Paribas Open is one of the most popular tennis tournaments outside of the grand slams and attracts more than 400,000 fans each year. The 2020 edition of the tournament was cancelled outright following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organisers said that ticket holders for this year’s event will be given more information as soon as the new dates are confirmed. The event is held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden complex, which includes 16,000-seat and 8,000-seat venues.

COVID-19 had a major impact on the tennis calendar in 2020 as Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War Two. The US Open was also held without fans, while only a handful of spectators were permitted at the French Open, which was postponed by four months.

Last month it was confirmed that this year’s Australian Open would be held in February, later than originally scheduled. Players will arrive in Australia from January 15 and undertake mandatory quarantine for 14 days ahead of the tournament, which will take place from February 8-21.

Tennis Australia has laid out an initial plan for 25% capacity at the three main stadiums for the Australian Open and has launched a zone-based ticket scheme focused on these venues.

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