Amélie Mauresmo and the problem of empty seats: “How to force people to stay in their seats? »

It is a tradition from which no one escapes. Each day of the men's final, Amélie Mauresmo meets with the press to take stock of the Roland-Garros edition. One subject remains an increasingly stubborn stain from one year to the next: empty seats. “Obviously we are not satisfied with what happened in the second men's semi-final”warns Mauresmo.

The problem of empty seats: “I have ideas to fix it”

“I have some ideas to fix it and you could call them flare-ups. I will not give them today, but the reflection has started because we are not satisfied with what we saw on Friday. 650,000 tickets are sold, but the seats remain vacant, which is not satisfactory.

But how do you force people to stay in their seats? We have noticed, over the years, that people who buy a day ticket no longer stay in their seat for eight hours. We tried to ensure that a person with an additional ticket could access an empty seat on the Chatrier, but we stopped because we had to face incivility with spectators who no longer wanted to give up their seats when the ticket holder was returning. There is also life in the stadium and many people take the opportunity to visit it when they could also be in their seats.

Regarding the boxes, we cannot force companies to tell their guests to go see the match. To return to the second semi-final between Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud. There were only 10% of people who had tickets for both halves, so we were pretty confident that people were going to come. It's complicated to say that people who have a ticket don't come. And there's the fact that people arrive at the last moment and find themselves stuck in the corridors for the first three games. We have to be able to bring them in much earlier before the start of the match. »

The absence of women in night sessions: “No pressure from the broadcaster”

“I have always said that the single evening match imposes constraints, particularly in terms of playing time. Firstly, we look at which match can be the evening's poster. And then, we think in terms of playing time to try to guarantee a minimum for evening spectators. Nothing is set in stone. Two years ago we asked ourselves the question of switching to two matches at night, but the Parisian culture is not to arrive at 7 p.m. in the stands, we are all convinced of that. And there is no pressure from the broadcaster (Prime Video) not to have a women's match. »

The positive results of Opening Week: “10,000 ahead of a qualifying match”

The tournament director was rightly pleased with the success of the Opening Week. Basically, the transformation of the qualifying week into a real appetizer tournament before the start of the big draw. With 75,000 spectators, there was reason to celebrate. “In particular, there were a lot of young people who came during this first week. The entry into play of the Suzanne-Lenglen court during this Opening Week was incredible. The spectators responded beyond our expectations. I don't think there are many tournaments where there are 10,000 people coming to see a qualifying match,” explains Mauresmo. With her team, she wants to bring emotion to the spectators and she believes that the mission is accomplished. “When we see them leaving with a smile from ear to ear and they say they want to come back, it’s a success. »

Another point of satisfaction, the success in completing the first week almost normally despite largely unfavorable weather. The roof of the Suzanne-Lenglen, which marks the end of 14 years of modernization of the stadium, was one of the architects.

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