However, The ATP Players Aren’t Thrilled By The US Open Prize Money Increase And Monday Final
by Staff | December 17th, 2012, 10:08 am
  • 6 Comments

In a statement earlier today, the ATP made it clear that their players do not fully support the new US Open changes announced Friday:

2013 PRIZE MONEY
The prize money increase announced by the US Open for 2013 is appreciated and, together with the 2012 increase, represents the largest increase by the US Open since the ATP Tour began in 1990. However, over the last nine months the ATP and its players have asked that the US Open fully recognise the fundamental role of the players in driving US Open revenues, which are the largest in our sport.

The ATP therefore remains committed to continuing discussions on this issue, with the objective of ensuring that the players’ share of the revenues at the US Open truly reflects the value that they generate for the event.

2013 MONDAY FINAL
By modifying the schedule to allow a rest day between the semi-finals and the final, the US Open has recognised the incredible physical demands of men’s tennis.

However, the ATP and its players have made it clear to the US Open that we do not support a Monday final. We strongly believe the US Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men’s semi-finals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday. It is unfortunate the US Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA.

From the release, the ATP players “appreciated” the US Open prize money increase of $4 million dollars (men/women will each get $2 million after split) but it still doesn’t give them what they feel is a big enough share of the pie when factoring in the overall revenues generated by them for the tournament. The Australian Open recently raised their prize money by a similar figure, but the Australian doesn’t have the revenues that the US Open generates and therefore on a percentage basis the tournament is valuing the players more.

And while the tour welcomed the day of rest between the semifinals and finals, the move to a Monday in 2013 was not what they had hoped for. The players made it clear that the tournament should end on Sunday like the other three Slams which play their semifinals/finals on Friday/Sunday

Because of inclement weather the tournament has held its men’s final on Monday the last five years.


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6 Comments for However, The ATP Players Aren’t Thrilled By The US Open Prize Money Increase And Monday Final

skeezer Says:

“It is unfortunate the US Open response did not reflect our views…”

Glad to see the players gave the Monday final decision the finger. USTA is more in touch with $, suits and ties, then the game of Tennis.


the DA Says:

The ATP is right. Hopefully this is just a temporary solution. It must be the TV contracts that have led to this. How come Wimbledon pulls it off in 13 days while the USO needs 15?


Chico Says:

Does anybody have an estimate or comparison of revenue percentages for any of the GS:s?

It is a tricky question, as neither the players, the ATP or tournament organizers could do any profit without each other. I think owerall the situation is pretty good at the moment, thinking of the level and amount of matches a fan can see annually. But for example, how would it affect the game of tennis if a drastically bigger slice would be given to the players making it only to the first week. I believe it would be good thing in the long run, as it would distribute funds to a larger amount of players who need money to be able to make sure they have the best training tools, tools that are needed to get to the top. This would make the competition fiercer thus boosting development.

Another question alltogether is does it add owerall fan attraction? When fans grow a love or affection for a player, do they want to see a Rosol put him out no matter how brilliant or flashy the display?


Jack Lewis Says:

>>How come Wimbledon pulls it off in 13 days while the USO needs 15?

What seems to be forgotten from the equation is that for the last 5 years the finals were on Monday, not due to any official “decision” but simply the weather. Unless the US open builds retractable roof for it’s main court, deciding (or wishing actually) to have the final on Sunday would be pointless.


Dave Says:

The 2012 U.S. Open revenue is approx $220 million and men’s prize money approx $12 million (about 5% of $220 million), assuming I remembered correctly.

Let’s stop muddling this issue: the ATP — which represents the male players only — are dealing with the issues that relate to the men. Logically, the ATP is only interested in the $2 million increase in the men’s prize money. There is really nothing in the ATP’s statement that suggests ‘From the release, the ATP players “appreciated” the US Open prize money increase of $4 million dollars’. The ATP should be interested in the $2 million that pertains to their prize money.

Of course the men should not accept the increase in number of tournament days to 15 days (with the Monday final). That’s because the US Open is essentially exploiting the market demand for the men’s tournament to generate more overall revenue from the extra day — without offering to give a fair share of that greater pie to the men who work an extra day.

The ATP is really asking for its fair share of the pie, given the contribution of male players to generating the US Open’s total revenue (ticket sales, sponsors, broadcast, hospitality, vendors, etc): “the ATP and its players have asked that the US Open fully recognise the fundamental role of the (male) players in driving US Open revenues, which are the largest in our sport… the objective of ensuring that the (male) players’ share of the revenues at the US Open truly reflects the value that (the male players) generate for the event” — the men want to be fairly compensated, regardless of equal prize money. That’s what their statement really means. Unfortunately the ATP can’t make their appropriate business demands for male players explicit without feminist nutters and their supporters attacking the men as ‘sexist’ in order to pressure the men to accept equal prize money for the women. Just like singles and doubles are treated differently in terms of prize money, the mens tournament and women’s tournament should be treated differently according to revenue generated.

According to the site below on 2012 US Open Tennis Tickets:
http://seatgeek.com/blog/sports/us-open-tennis-tickets-price-2012

“This Year’s Most Expensive Events
….The men’s later rounds of the tournament accounted for the four most expensive sessions of the US Open on the secondary market. The priciest event in the US Open shouldn’t come as a surprise: the Men’s Final matchup came in at $546 per ticket. That was followed by the Men’s Semifinals at $464, and the two quarterfinal sessions round out the top 4.

Tickets to see the women’s matches, meanwhile, sold for far lower prices than the men’s matches.

Most tickets are for sessions with both men’s and women’s matches, so it’s hard to differentiate whether fans are paying to see the male or female competitors. But a ticket to see the Women’s Singles Final session, which has no men’s match along with it, is just the 5th-most expensive session overall at a price of $352 per ticket. That means fans value the men’s two quarterfinal rounds, semifinals round, and final are all higher than the Women’s final.

The numbers show that it’s no doubt that the men’s tournament is the biggest draw for fans.

Ticket Price Trends from 2010 to 2012
Overall, ticket prices for the 2012 US Open have been much more expensive than last year’s Open. The average ticket to a US Open session this year comes in at $280, a 26% raise on last year’s $223 per ticket…

The price of the men’s singles final has risen quite dramatically from the past two years. A ticket to see 2010’s Men’s Singles Final cost an average of $354, and 2011’s was priced at $451 per ticket. This year, though, the price has jumped all the way to $546 for the last day’s session, which includes both the Men’s Singles and the Women’s Doubles Final, making it particularly in demand. Altogether, the final session’s ticket price rose 54% over the past two years, indicating rapidly growing interest in the event. Tickets for this year’s final session are widely available, ranging from $190 for a seat in Section 324 to $7,502 for front row sideline seats in Section 49.”

ATP has to clearly state three things (which it doesn’t seem to be doing):

- How much revenue the US Open has made in 2012 and will likely make in 2013

- What percentage of that revenue was or will be reasonably contributed by the men.

- What amount of prize money do the men require, given their contribution.


addicted Says:

@Dave – The “men” will not be working an extra day. There will be 2 men who will be working an extra day. And both of them will be very well compensated for it.

The rest of the field will no be sticking around till the end and this decision makes absolutely no difference to them.

Also, the ATP is looking at the wrong figures. They should not be seeking to balance %age of revenues across tournaments, but rather, %age of profits. I don’t know how that breaks down, but it is the more important factor, IMO.

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