By Arielle Alpino for The Island Eye News
The Volvo Car Open, the premier women’s only professional tennis tournament in North America, will be held as scheduled, April 3-11, 2021, in Charleston without fans. With public health and safety as the event’s top priority, the tournament will forgo its traditional on site fan environment to create a made-for-TV tennis event instead. This change will allow the Volvo Car Open to still operate in 2021, providing tennis players an opportunity to compete and earn a living and offering fans a unique and engaging broadcast experience they can enjoy from home.
The tournament reached this decision after closely monitoring the rise in COVID-19 cases and consulting with local government and health officials. Ticket holders will receive communication from the Volvo Car Open’s ticketing department on processing ticket refunds.
“After much deliberation, our team has made the difficult but necessary decision to host the 2021 Volvo Car Open without fans,” said Bob Moran, Volvo Car Open Tournament Director. “We delayed this decision as long as we possibly could in hopes that the end result may be different. But, in order to successfully execute a fan experience that complies with all guidelines and requirements given by local government and health officials, we would need to begin building our event facilities this week. Unfortunately, with the ongoing high positivity numbers and the potential of unknown restrictions on travel to the U.S., we have concluded that the creation of a made-for-TV tournament is the best possible outcome for the 2021 Volvo Car Open.”
Both Tennis Channel and WTA Media have agreed to broadcast the 2021 Volvo Car Open, providing a full week of coverage for fans both in the U.S. and abroad.
The tournament is actively working in partnership with the WTA and the Medical University of South Carolina on the development of health and safety protocols for the event, which will allow the team to create a safe atmosphere for players, essential staff and operational partners.
The Volvo Car Open was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since 1973, the tournament has been a pioneer in women’s professional sports, paving the path for female tennis players to receive equal recognition, respect and pay in the industry. Originally held on Hilton Head Island, the event moved to Charleston in 2001 and is now played on Daniel Island at the LTP Daniel Island tennis center, home to the Volvo Car Stadium.
Charleston Tennis, LLC, which manages the Volvo Car Stadium under a lease from the City of Charleston, recently announced plans to renovate and modernize the 20-year-old Volvo Car Stadium. The city-owned facility will undergo upgrades to enhance the stadium experience for patrons, performers, tennis players and event management, allowing the venue to attract world-class athletes and talent to Daniel Island.
“Although we are disappointed by our recent event updates, we are already looking ahead to the future”, said Moran.
“We are making great progress with the Volvo Car Stadium renovations and are excited to unveil this reimagined space at the celebration of our 50th tennis event in 2022. Our upgraded venue will continue to provide unforgettable entertainment experiences with new state-of-theart features and elevated patron services.”
For more information on the Volvo Car Open, visit volvocaropen.com or call 843-856-7900.