Australian Open 2021 hit with huge financial losses, CEO Craig Tilley declares $78 M hit

Australian Open 2021 Financial losses
Australian Open 2021 has declares financial losses

Australian Open 2021 – Huge Financial lossess: Naomi Osaka and Noavk Djokovic won Australian Open title this year but the year’s first Grand Slam has declared huge losses. Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia and tournament director of the Australian Open, has said that he expects the total losses from going ahead with the tournament to exceed 78m due to the costs incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why is Australian Open Suffering huge losses?

The significant fall in ticketing revenue was the biggest contribution to the hit, Tiley said. The event got underway in early February with a cap of 30,000 spectators per day – around 50 per cent of the usual number of spectators for the grand slam.

However, a snap lockdown for the state of Victoria from February 12 meant that the tournament completed five days behind closed doors, with more than 100,000 tickets for that period refunded.

In total, just over 130,000 people attended the 2021 Australian Open, after a record-setting 2020 which saw 821,000 spectators watch the action at Melbourne Park despite the bushfires that were last year.

The second-largest factor were the costs associated with Covid safety protocols, most prominently the bill for the 14-day “hard quarantine” hotel stays many players had to undergo upon arrival to Australia after the virus was detected on the chartered flights that brought them to the country.

Speaking to Melbourne radio station SEN on Friday ahead of the Australian Open’s final weekend, Tiley said: “It’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be easy. We’re going to lose multimillions of dollars on this event.

“Obviously we took a big hit with five days with no fans, as you don’t sell merchandise [and] sponsors don’t get activation. You don’t sell tickets or premium hospitality. So five of 14 days, that’s a big hit.

“We have A$80m in reserve and we will exhaust that and we will take anywhere from a A$40m to A$60m loan. It’s a big loss, but we haven’t finalised the number yet. We’ve still got to see what our receipts are.”