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Overseas attendance growth for WTA Finals Singapore
While attendances at this year’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore have been impacted by the withdrawl of world number one Serena Williams, the event is benefitting from a rise in overseas visitors.
Unlike last year’s successful run, which attracted over 129,000 fans over 10 days to the Indoor Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub and had four sell-out sessions, the current week-long tournament has yet to sell out any of its sessions.
However, recently appointed Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Chief Executive Steve Simon is confident that the annual event will continue to grow in popularity - so long as the WTA continues to deliver the right mix of sport entertainment and fan experience.
In an interview with TODAY, Simon explained “anytime you have a player (Williams) who’s in the argument of one of the best players that’s not here, that’s not good, that hurts us.
“But in fairness, we have an amazing line-up of talent here.
“It’s a natural evolution of events. You have your inaugural year and then you have to build it from there and I’m very confident that we will. I think we’re going to see sold-out crowds here over the years to come.”
The WTA and Lagardère Sports have revealed that consumer data shows an increase of over 30% in the number of fans travelling to Singapore to watch the tournament this year.
A massive 374% increase in fans travelling to the event from India have made the trip to watch Sania Mirza in her attempt to hoist a second WTA Finals trophy in two years.
Attendees from Romania are up 54%, backing world number two Simona Halep, while Italian support has risen 139% as fans back compatriot Flavia Pennetta, the US Open champion, who is making her final appearance in a WTA event before retiring.
The Asia Pacific region has taken notice of the WTA Finals as well, with fans travelling from China rising by 42% from last year.
With Singapore playing host to the event at least through 2018, Steve Simon is keen to build a year-round calendar of tennis events and activities in South East Asia, as well as building on the fan experience that drew about 87,000 to the Fan Zone and practice sessions at the Singapore Sports Hub last year.
Simon is encouraged by the growing regional sport market, concluding “Asian consumers are the same as any consumer around in that they’re thirsty for entertainment and those that are interested in sport would love the fact that now they’re having all of the sports in their region where they can experience them.
“If we can find the right formula and unique experiences, they will come and enjoy it.”
20th October 2015 - WTA MOVES QUICKLY TO APPOINT STEVE SIMON AS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE
20th October 2015 - SPIA ASIA SET NEW STANDARDS FOR SOUTH EAST ASIAN SPORT
10th August 2015 - SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB AIMS TO BE RECOGNISED AMONG THE WORLD’S TOP VENUES
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