TORONTO (NEWS 1130) – The 2020 Rogers Cup in Toronto has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tennis Canada says the tournament will be held August 7 to 15 next year, citing measures imposed by governments as well as the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) as factors for the decision.
The Rogers Cup was scheduled to be played August 8 to 16 this year.
“The measures announced by the City of Toronto on May 15 do not allow Tennis Canada to organize a competition in front of spectators,” a statement from Tennis Canada reads. “In fact, the city had already indicated that it would not issue permits for events that welcome more than 25,000 people until August 31, a position that Tennis Canada fully supports.”
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The decision comes after the Montreal Rogers Cup had already been postponed to 2021 due to provincial restrictions in Quebec.
Some events, such as the U.S. Open, are still going ahead with competition this year amid the health crisis. The U.S. Open is set to take place without spectators, an option Tennis Canada says was “carefully studied” but ultimately decided against.
The organizing body says despite loosening restrictions in Ontario, there are still “several risks and obstacles,” including ensuring the health and safety of all.
“The complexity of the federal travel law, the financial repercussions and the strain on public health,” were also cited as factors for Tennis Canada’s decision to not hold a closed-door event.
The managing director of the Rogers Cup says organizing such a competition would require a number of health and operational measures to be implemented.
“We estimated that to organize and broadcast such a tournament, we would require having up to 450 people on-site,” Gavin Ziv says in a statement. “The safety of these people during the two weeks of the event would have been a concern for Tennis Canada and in the current context, the level of risk would have remained high, especially for a sport like tennis where athletes comes from all parts of the world. In addition, at this time, the federal law relating to access to our country and mandatory quarantine would require players to arrive in Canada well before the start of the tournament, which made things much more difficult.”
Tennis Canada adds it can’t afford to increase an already large deficit, after losses of $17 million this year.
The Rogers Cup has been held every year except for 1905, 1915 to 1918 (due to the First World War), and 1941 to 1945 (due to the Second World War).
Anyone who has already bought a ticket to the 2020 Rogers Cup can keep them for use next year. Tennis Canada says ticketholders will be contacted with other details.
-With files from The Canadian Press