The Madrid Open, a Masters 1000 tournament, had a great final on Sunday. It needed it. World number 1 Novak Djokovic against world number 2 Andy Murray. And the Caja Mágica, the Magic Box, was full. As it usually is, because the tickets for the final go fast, with fans expecting Nadal to be there. He wasn’t of course, dumped out in the semi-final by Scot Andy Murray. But on Saturday, when the Spaniard was playing, the stadium wasn’t full. For a Masters 1000 semi-final. Nadal at mid-day and Djokovic in the evening, and the womens finals, both singles and doubles. And there were tickets going spare. Too expensive?
Madrid Open: not cheap
The cheapest weekend seat was 72 euros, the most expensive in the stands was 163 euros. A week long pass for the tournament was between 425 and 823 euros. Parking alone was 20 euros a day. And that’s not even looking at the VIP boxes, where the prices were between 25,718 euros and an eye-watering 55,805.
Putting on a tournament like Madrid isn’t cheap. The prize fund alone reaches 9.5 million euros. 912,900 for the winners, 447,630 for the losing finalist. 225,300 for the semi-finalists and 114, 560 for the quarter-finalists… all of which has to come from sponsorship and, of course, tickets.
Big names missing or out
And then if Federer doesn’t come, or Djokovic drops out as he did in 2015 and 2014. Or Murray gets knocked out in the second round (2014). That year, too, all the top seeds in the womens tournament were out by the quarter-final stage.
The danger is that at some point the prices become too high for the show on offer, and the public turns its back. Although this year the mens final was a full house, the tournament has had its first warning.