At the end of the night, the stands of the Philippe-Chatrier court, in the lower parts, were not entirely occupied. An incomprehensible situation for many viewers.
At Roland Garros
It was the most anticipated match of the start of 2022, a final before the hour and, without doubt, one of the last clashes in history between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a Grand Slam tournament. The poster, which started on the Court Philippe Chatrier at 9:00 p.m., ended at 1:16 a.m. in an electric atmosphere but with stands, in the lower part of the enclosure especially, sparse in places. Difficult to understand for this event match which was sold out.
The images made Internet users jump on social networks. “It makes me crazy“, fumes the journalist Estelle Denis. “I want the names and addresses of the 17 people who left these seats empty.“, writes the actor Pierre Antoine Damecour accustomed to the sets of The team channel with a touch of scathing humor, accompanying his tweet with a photo taken at the very beginning of the meeting. A few minutes later, the latecomers were indeed occupying the seats intended for them.
“Empty seats at Roland Garros drive me crazy. Some buy tickets and don’t come, it drives you crazy when I would give anything to see this Djoko Nadal in real life“, cowardly exasperated another user of the social network who sums up the bitterness of certain viewers pointing to these freed places, in the dressing rooms in particular, where the camera often lingers on the changes of side.
Snapshots taken from the press box by us, at 11:39 p.m. precisely, more than an hour and a half before the end of the match, show that a significant number of seats in the lower parts of Center Court were free, in the side stands and the four-seat boxes (well stocked all the same) but also in the presidential stand, where spectators are invited. In the upper part of the Philippe-Chatrier court, on the other hand, it is difficult to find an available location. The 59th clash between Nadal and Djokovic therefore took place in an almost full stadium until 1:16 a.m.
Empty seats on the big courts, a problem taken head on by the tournament management
The phenomenon of empty seats at Roland-Garros is recurrent. The new management, aware of the bad image that this sends back to the tournament every year when the ticket office operates at full speed, had taken measures to put an end to the problem. In the event of low attendance noted (under approximately 50%), spectators with tickets giving access to the adjoining courts (“Annex’Up“) thus had the possibility of coming to the main courts after being notified by an SMS, explains The echoes .
In the event of a large crowd during the day, these visitors were asked to leave their seats to the holders of priority tickets for these courts. But despite these good intentions and notable progress, the Court Philippe-Chartier sometimes sounded hollow at midday and early afternoon, especially when the women’s matches were scheduled, but not only.
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