Attendance figures at the 2019 Shanghai Tennis Masters increased by 20 per cent on last year, organisers claim.
The 11th edition of the event held at the Qizhong Tennis Centre, which welcomed 150,000 attendees, adopted new ticketing initiatives, such as a new ticket-vending mechanism and the introduction of separate day and night session tickets.
Yang Yibin, vice-general manager of event organiser Juss Sports Group, said: “The mechanism has proved to be a success. Day-session tickets sold better than what we expected, and the total ticket receipts saw a 30-per-cent increase from last year.
“Those who were only able to make it to the evening matches could get a night-session ticket at a cheaper price than a whole-day ticket, while day-session tickets went into the hands of those who could make it. The increase in audience numbers obviously benefits our sponsors, as well.”
The event, which ran from October 6 to 13, is Asia’s only ATP Masters 1000 tournament.
Yang said the tournament was becoming less reliant on the success of stars like Roger Federer, who has “always been a ticket box guarantee” in China.
Yang said: “We have cultivated a mature fan base. A lot of fans would arrange their time according to our schedule and book tickets early no matter who they would see. They have shown recognition for the tournament and the sport itself.”
He added that 20 per cent of attending fans this year were from outside Shanghai, and half of these were from overseas: “We have also been inviting journalists from Europe, Singapore, and some Southeast Asian countries that we value as important tennis markets for Shanghai so as to increase the influence of our tournament. The Shanghai event has also become a model for domestic tennis tournament organisers, who send their representatives to learn from us.”