2020 BNP-Paribas canceled Amid-Coronavirus. The 2020 BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California will not hold with regards to coronavirus concerns, organizers announced Sunday evening.
Local health officials announced Saturday that a person who tested positive for coronavirus was being treated at Eisenhower Health hospital in Rancho Mirage, California, and Riverside County (Calif.) officials announced a public health emergency on Sunday.
“We are extremely not happy that the tournament won’t take place , but the health and safety of the citizens , faollowers, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everybody that will be involved in the event is important,” Tournament Director Tommy Haas pointed out. “We are prepared to carry the tournament on another date and can explore options.”
Martin Massiello, Eisenhower Health’s executive vice chairman and chief operating officer, added: “We appreciate the proactive stance tournament organizers are taking to make sure public health and safety.”
Anyone who purchased tickets to the tournament may request a refund for this year’s event or credit toward the 2021 tournament.
They can make their request by visiting bnpparibasopen.com/coronavirus by March 31.
Refunds apply to complete orders only. Physical tickets need to be presented at the box office or suite department, digital tickets need to be in a customer’s ticketing account, and all requests need to be made by the purchaser on record.
Arlene De La Paz exclaimed, “It’s horrible. I’m shocked, a La Quinta resident and Eisenhower nurse who has been an active spectacular of the tournament with courtside seats for 18 years. “As a fan, I am disappointed. I felt it was an overreaction for one case, but as I thought about it as a nurse it is the right decision.
“From the health perspective, it is the right decision. A lot of our population is elderly, you don’t want them exposed to corona(virus).”
The tournament, which was supposed to run through March 22, has been held in the desert every year since 1976. Qualifying was set to begin Monday, with the main draw play for the women set to start Wednesday.
Indian Wells is one of the most popular stops for the men and women on tour and is considered an unofficial fifth “major” tournament. This year’s prize money was to exceed $17 million.
Canada’s Bianca Andreescu and Austria’s Dominic Thiem won the women’s and men’s singles titles in 2019. The BNP Paribas Open set an attendance record last year with 475,372 attendees over the two-week period.
Bianca Andreescu plays a backhand during the 2019 BNP Paribas Open women’s singles final.
The tournament is the first of several Southern California events to be impacted by concerns of coronavirus as the number of infected people increased in Riverside County.
Its cancellation comes two days after the tournament detailed several new preventative measures they were taking due to coronavirus concerns.
Ball kids were going to wear gloves, as were all ticket-takers and food vendors. Only the players would handle their towels. The tournament planned to have 250 new hand-sanitizing stations peppered around the grounds.
In a statement, Indian Wells leaders said they support the decision to cancel this year’s tournament and that this year’s event will “set an example of thoughtful leadership that prioritizes the health of players, fans and the community.”
2020 BNP-Paribas canceled Amid-Coronavirus
Cancellation came nearly seven hours after Riverside County Public Health Officer Cameron Kaiser proclaimed the public health emergency during a news conference at Eisenhower Health.
The patient at Eisenhower Health is the second Riverside County resident to test positive for coronavirus. The first person was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and is being treated at a Northern California facility.
During the news conference, Kaiser stressed “community exposure is low” and reiterated a previous statement that health officials had not recommended the cancellation of events that attract thousands of people to the Coachella Valley.
Tournament officials said the cancellation was based on guidance from medical officials.
“There is just too great a risk, at this point , to the general public health of the Riverside County area in holding an outsized gathering of this size,” Dr. David Agus, a USC professor of medicine and biomedical engineering, said in a statement. “It isn’t within the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all need to join together to guard the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
The next big event in the desert is the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration, a major championship on the women’s professional golf tour. As of Sunday, tournament officials were still planning on holding the event March 30 through April 5 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.
More discussions on the prospects of the event will be held early this week between the LPGA, tournament operator International Management Group and tournament sponsor All Nippon Airways. Earlier this year the LPGA canceled three tournament, one in Thailand, one in Singapore and one in China, over health and safety concerns for players because of the coronavirus.
Other events taking place include the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and Stagecoach country music festival. Both take place next month at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
2020 BNP-Paribas canceled Amid-Coronavirus
As of Sunday night, nearly 10,000 people signed a petition calling for Coachella’s cancellation. An opposing petition had support from about 800 people.